2018 Sydney Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Image Credit : Rory Gardiner Photography uk +44 0780 405 3798 au +61 423 800 465 www.rory-gardiner.com @arorygardiner Richard Glover Photography +61 417 654 815 mail@richardglover.com www.richardglover.com



Project Overview

Positioned at the southwest extent of the Barangaroo South precinct, Barangaroo House is the outcome of design excellence competition organised by Lendlease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority,

The overarching design strategy was borne of two crucial responses to site and brief: the urban response of a building ‘in-the-round’, and the holistic integration of planting; both edible and ornamental.

The curved plan form creates a free-flowing space around the building, encouraging and welcoming movement, while effectively stretching the waterside terraces around the northern and southern faces of the building,

A steam-bent charred timber façade gently curves in 3 dimensions, concealing a continuous ring of edible plants and generating a strong visual identity for the building, while the perimeter balconies cantilever the dining spaces outward, resulting in a uniquely outdoor atmosphere on each level.

From early design investigations, we sought to propose a building which spoke of the nature of the program, as well as the uniqueness of the site, while resetting the limits of how a hospitality venue can act.

The ambition of the project is the creation of a welcoming, timeless, convivial structure, that over time becomes a much loved part of the city.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

Collins and Turner


Collins and Turner:
- Penny Collins
- Huw Turner
- David Janson
- Sonny Lee

Client/ Developer/ Project manager/ Planner/ Principal Contractor:
- Monique DeCseuz
- Martin Cunningham
- Evan Chalmers
- Rowan Stewart
- Jason Tran
- Jeremy Thompson
- Dipankar Mukherjee
- Peter Gutmann
- David Springford
- Phil Kiehne
- Carl Nelson
- Clare Hall
- Eugene Labra

- Rory Gardiner
- Richard Glover

- Martin O’Shea
- Nicholas Sheldrake

Mechanical / Electrical / Facade Engineering:
- Mairead Hogan
- David Ting
- George Diakos
- Steve Hill

Hydraulic / Fire Services:
Warren Smith + Partners:
- Andreas Heintze
- Paul Sarza
- Peter Brawley
- Ian Stone

Aspect | Oculus
- Sacha Coles
- Jane Nalder
- David Duncan
- Nat Lawrence
- Andrew Langford

Fire Consultant:
- Victor Tung

Interior Design:
H+E Architects & Etic:
- Chris Grinham
- Sonny Lee
- Wendy Huang
- Emily Delalande

McKenzie Group:
- Brigitte Thearle
- Stephen Natilli
- Aaron Celarc

Speirs and Major
- Mark Major
- Daniel Harvey

Onsite Group:
- Kirk Lawes
- David Sanders

Specialist Subcontractor:
- Enzo Botte

Specialist Subcontractor:
Britton Timbers

Project Brief

Barangaroo house is the outcome of design excellence competition organised by Lendlease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority.

Framed by an ambitious brief to redefine Australian hospitality design, the competition brief described the creation of a new free-standing three story building, to be designed to suit the needs of a major hospitality venue.

Due to its positioning at the southwestern corner of the Barangaroo South precinct, the project called for a building which would mark the southern entry point to one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Sydney for a generation.

The 750 sqm site of Barangaroo House formed a fundamental component of the brief. With 4 street frontages - 3 pedestrian, and one vehicular, the unique site instructed the urban design strategy of rounding the building form - resulting in a continuous ribbon of facade, rather than 4 distinct street frontages.

Our competition winning scheme ultimately defined the project brief with two overarching design strategies: the urban response of a building ‘in-the-round’, and the holistic integration of planting.

The multi-tier building is designed to house three distinct food offerings, united by the building’s strong visual identity, and culinary narrative of chef & restauranteur - Matt Moran.

Project Innovation/Need

Due to its ambitious brief, and bold formal outcome, Barangaroo House drove innovation and testing at every scale - from the urban response to detail resolution, and material selection.

The key urban design agenda of a ‘building in the round’ dictated the curvilinear form, which projects curved perimeter balconies outward in each direction. Structural cantilevers up to 8.5m permit a uniquely outdoor atmosphere to a series of dining spaces on each level of the multi-tiered building.

The structural cantilevers required a complex and innovative concrete waffle slab design, with several layers of post-tensioning, interwoven much like a cable-knit jumper, to allow two-dimensional spans, distributing load back to the raking structural columns, and permitting a free open floor plan for future flexibility.

Innovation in detailing was driven by the vision for a steam-bent charred timber facade, which would reference the primeval act of cooking, while generating a strong visual identity for the building, and aesthetically support the urban strategy of a ‘building in the round’. Prototypes were prepared to refine the concealed dowel fixings, steam bending methodology, and openable windbreaks.

Prototyping extended to material innovation as well, with the development of specialised charring equipment, testing custom-laminated glazing products., and patina metal treatments.

We think of Barangaroo House as being the result of an iterative series of examinations and prototypes, ultimately offering a highly unique response to the challenging requirements of its brief and design intent.

Design Challenge

The distinctly curved building form tested known boundaries of materials, products, structural systems, and spatial planning

From a technical perspective, the detail design and detailing of complex geometry isn’t an easy feat. Steam-bent timber facades, continuous curved integrated planter boxes, slimline glazing systems with milimeter-precision tolerances, and cantilevering concrete waffle slabs are unforgiving, unlikely partners, and uncommon in Australian hospitality design.

Testament to the unconventional premise underpinning many of the details, almost every aspect of the design went through a rigorous process of design development and testing. Prototypes to conceal dowel fixings, perfect the steam bending or charring texture of the timber, or test custom-laminated glazing products were subjects of frequent investigation, and informed key design decisions and selections.

Our proposal challenged everyone on the team to rethink the way things are done. It coerced disciplines of engineering to break the mould, and the teams of contractors to prototype, test, and often invent

We believe that when a work of architecture or design genuinely breaks the mould, it contributes more than just a building to the city


Barangaroo House has been designed in accordance with the ambitious sustainability targets of the Barangaroo precinct. Key strategies, integral to the design concept include;

Holistic integration of planting

Planting is integrated in the form of the building through continuous planters to the circumference of each level, with the intention that edible plants are grown on site for use in the restaurant; minimising energy consumption, associated with food transport, in the operation of the restaurant.

Deep Balcony Articulation

Deep articulation to facade terraces provide a passive means of solar control to all elevations. Glazing setbacks have been carefully determined to maximise occupant comfort and minimise solar gain on the facades.

Timber Facade

Accoya, a sustainably sourced acetylised timber product has been used for the custom timber facade throughout the project, minimising long term needs for maintenance and facade replacement over the life of the building

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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