Walsh Bay’s $139m project wins top architecture award

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A $371 million redevelopment plan to transform the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct has won the state’s top architectural award.

A $371 million redevelopment plan to transform the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct has won the state’s top architectural award.
The NSW Architecture Medallion was awarded to Tonkin Zulaikha of Greer Architects for their conversion of the old freight docks.
Aiming to create a space for Australian creative arts artists, the concept plan was created to breathe new life into Dawes Point Park and Barangaroo Point Park near Sydney’s CBD.
The project also won an interior design award and the Greenway Award for Heritage and Public Architecture.

The awards jury applauded the architects for integrating the heritage building with contemporary requirements.

“Transformative in scale and detail, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct has created a multitude of arts and cultural spaces from much-loved public infrastructure,” said the jury.
“The triple-glazed theater walls offer spectacular views of the Harbor Bridge while meeting the acoustic standards of a chamber orchestra, just one example of the technical feats achieved.”

Major redevelopment works at Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5 have been completed and the area is now open and home to nine resident companies – Bangarra Dance Theatre, Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Theater Company and The Song Company, all located at Wharf 4/5 and Pier 2/3, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theater for Young People and Bell Shakespeare.

The upgrade in the public domain is being finalized with the architects and has not been announced at this stage.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the plan will not only give more space to the performing and creative arts industry, but will continue the government’s plan of New South Wales to modernize the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.

“The precinct is part of the NSW Government’s vision to activate and open up Sydney Harbor’s foreshore, alongside the redevelopment of Barangaroo and Bays Precinct,” Mr Stokes said.

“Walsh Bay is a key part of the development of an arts district in Sydney’s CBD. This investment will establish Walsh Bay as a renowned cultural district in Asia-Pacific, giving New South Wales audiences greater access to exceptional artists and performances.

The master plan is the latest project to transform former industrial areas and breathe new life into them by turning them into cultural hubs.

Recent examples across Sydney include the Carriageworks which has been transformed from a former train and tram shed into a contemporary multi-arts center and Cockatoo Island which has been converted from a shipyard into a venue for seasonal events such as New Year’s Eve.
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Originally published as Walsh Bay, $371m project wins top architectural prize

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