Barangaroo Harbour Park: Design Competition

AJC reflects on the architectural vision of its shortlisted entry in the Barangaroo Harbour Park Design Competition.

In 2023, AJC was the architectural partner in a stellar global team entering the international Barangaroo Harbour Park Design Competition. The team was shortlisted from over 70 expressions of interest worldwide. Only five shortlisted teams were invited to take part in the Stage 2 design competition. 

Our collective team included the original designers of Barangaroo Reserve, PWP Landscape Architecture, local landscape architects, Clouston Associates, Designing with Country advisors, Blaklash, along with a team of consultants, curators and artists (listed below). Our collaborative proposal sought to extend the naturalistic character and materiality of Barangaroo Reserve into the new Barangaroo Harbour Park, uniting the Barangaroo precinct’s north and south under the visionary banner of One Park.

This is a pivotal site in Sydney and in the Baranagroo precinct master plan by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP). The Barangaroo Harbour Park will occupy 1.85 hectares of waterfront at Baranagroo Central, intended as a bridge between the naturalistic headland of Baranagroo Reserve and the concentrated commercial precinct of Barangaroo South. The park aims to reflect global best practice for public domain and embody the visions for Barangaroo, including world-class design excellence, integration of art and culture and environmental sustainability.

What distinguished our architectural proposal was the decision to present a ‘non-building’ concept — an underground midden mound. This unconventional approach provided an opportunity to redefine the relationship between built form, nature and landscape. 

Within a subterranean enclosure, the proposed public amenities coexisted with a community space offering an immersive experience that viscerally connects visitors to the natural elements of land, water, and sky country. Literally bridging nature, culture and community. The midden mound also expresses our commitment to Design with Country and innovative sustainability.

The competition jury included The Hon. Paul Keating, former Prime Minister of Australia (Jury Chair), Australian Landscape Architect Oi Choong, Jefa Greenaway RAIA MDIA (Wailwan|Kamilaroi), Ivan Harbour – co-founder of Barangaroo’s London-based master planners, RSHP and Paris-based landscape architect and co-founder of mosbach paysagiste, Catherine Mosbach.

We thank our extraordinary team, whose vision and expertise made designing for such an important site a joy as well as a privilege and affirms our belief in the transformative power of collaboration in shaping our cities and communities. We also extend our congratulations to the winning team, AKIN, and look forward to seeing how they shape the public space at Barangaroo Harbour Park. 

Our team

Landscape architects: PWP Landscape Architecture, Clouston Associates 

Architects:  AJC 

Design with Country: Blaklash 

Art curation: UAP

Artists: The Re-Right Collective (Carmen Glynn-Braun and Dennis Golding), Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Sustainability:  Cundall 

Heritage:  GML Heritage