Barangaroo Pier Pavilion

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The simplest of gestures has often the strongest impact.

The pavilion’s singular gesture allows it to become the signature landmark for the Barangaroo South precinct and the broader harbourside setting. Consisting of two folded plates, the pavilion is unencumbered of vertical structure internally allowing for the full experience of an ethereal space within.

The canopy will utilise nautical construction techniques of a reinforced fibreglass (FRP) lining, on a structural frame and suitable marine grade substrate for its ability to be recycled at the end of the pavilion’s life cycle. FRP carries a lower embodied energy as opposed to steel and aluminium. The sustainable properties are enhanced by being highly flexible, allowing bespoke detailing to the underside of the canopy soffit. This enables rigging/fixing points to the structure without being visually intrusive.

The internal space and volume of the pavilion is uninterrupted, evoking an uplifting experience akin to spaces of ceremonial or important public building interiors albeit being open to the elements. A flexible independent pod resides internally that acts as the ‘servant’ to the space. The pod will have connection to the base capped services and infrastructure available at the eastern edge of the platform for everyday use as well as provide the capacity and connection for temporal events. It will also house CCTV and Wi-Fi in addition to multi-directional lighting for the space. Furthermore, the pod contains audio visual components which can be curated in several ways. Whether a visual projection to the underside of the canopy or reconfigured so a single façade of the pod can serve as a visual screen to advertise coming events or be used for cinematic/visual theatre events.

A series of movable plinths, connected to a track system below the granite pavers, are envisaged to provide places of respite in everyday mode. It can also be pushed out of the way along the track to suit the congregation and other event modes.

Oriented to frame and project its views outward to the harbour, it mitigates the impact of the strong prevailing winds from the south-west whilst providing partial visual separation from the ferry terminal. Whilst the ferry terminal to Barangaroo South serves as an access hub for the precinct it is important that the pavilion design distinctly announces the vibrancy of Barangaroo South to the water’s edge. It will also allow partial views into the pavilion and beyond to create intrigue and curiosity. Its delight is the experience of walking through and under a volume of space that begins at an intimate scale (at the promenade end) from where it ‘soars and opens up’ revealing the drama of the harbour beyond.

At first glance, the pavilion is unassumingly simple yet bold in Barangaroo’s skyline. Hovering unostentatiously over the pier, it invites the viewer to discover an experience of space that is almost scaleless. It is elegant in form, simple in gesture, and sits comfortably within the powerful international design framework of Barangaroo.

A ‘signature marker’ whilst on water and an uplifting space whilst on land.

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Client

Infrastructure NSW

Scope

Pier Pavilion Design Competition

Completion

2020