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Harbour Park at Barangaroo | Image: NSW Government

Unveiling the $2.5B Future of Central Barangaroo

Australia’s beloved Barangaroo foreshore is about to undergo a transformation that will set the stage for the ultimate blend of culture, nature, and urban aesthetics in Sydney. This ambitious project, Central Barangaroo, situated between the bustling Barangaroo South and the serene headland park, is inching closer to fruition.

Related: Sydney’s Grand Delay: Town Hall Square Pushed to the 2030s!

Barangaroo | Image: Jim Ouk
Barangaroo | Image: Jim Ouk

As part of the $2.5 billion development initiative reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Harbour Park is being masterfully designed by the Sydney-based team, AKIN, bringing to life the winning blueprint for this sprawling 1.85-hectare oasis. Picture a patchwork of tranquil ponds nestled beneath native trees, snaking footpaths, and a series of nature-inspired interactive play areas. Now, imagine all that huddled in the heart of the city, right on the edge of Sydney’s CBD.

Harbour Park aims to honour the land’s deep-rooted history and the rich legacy of the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of these lands. The park embraces First Nations design, creating an immersive experience that intertwines centuries of cultural heritage with the present urban landscape.

With room to host up to 6000 attendees, the expansive northern lawn will be the stage for a myriad of community and cultural events. Meticulously planned public artworks and a modern kiosk are all part of this green tapestry that stitches the naturalistic northern end to the south’s sleek commercial district.

Harbour Park at Barangaroo | Image: NSW Government
Harbour Park at Barangaroo | Image: NSW Government

The winning design was chosen by a jury led by none other than former prime minister Paul Keating, and the First Nations-led AKIN team boasts a diverse lineup, including Yerrabingin, Architectus, Jacob Nash Studio, Studio Chris Fox, Flying Fish Blue, and Arup as engineering consultants.

For Christian Hampson, co-founder of Indigenous design firm Yerrabingin and spokesperson for AKIN, Harbour Park is more than just a park. Hampson refers to it as a place to “celebrate an enduring culture and to move with Country,” emphasising the connection to the area’s natural and cultural history.

The park’s concept is a testament to the community’s collective past, present, and future. Steve Kamper, the Lands and Property Minister, lauds the design’s unique symbiosis with the water and the public’s profound influence on its features.

In the wake of backlash over a previously proposed 21-storey residential tower, a new vision for Central Barangaroo’s remaining half is currently being refined. Reduced-scale development plans for the site are expected to be unveiled by Infrastructure NSW and developer Aqualand by year’s end, with public feedback eagerly invited.

Central Barangaroo is not merely a commercial venture. It’s a vision of a space that integrates the vitality of Sydney’s urban life with the sacred stories etched into the very sandstone of the city.