An era will end when the iconic Imax theatre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour area closes on September 25.
The famous theatre opened in 1996 to huge crowds eager to see what was then the world’s biggest screen.
Australia’s largest private developer Grocon and property management company Markham are working on the redevelopment together. They say they are aiming to create a landmark similar to The Shard or the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
In 2013 Grocon’s NSW general manager Chris Carolan told Business Insider the design drew on an emerging trend for “these innovative curved structures, all around the world, including in the Middle East and China”
“We want to bring it to this country.”
The design of the new building, labelled “The Ribbon” due to its unique curved and flowing structure, is quite a contrast to Sydney’s generally conservative corporate architecture.
It will take about three years to build.
Architectural statements tend to be matters of height or signage rather than creative design. The Ribbon sweeps upwards and outwards from the ground along its east-west axis, with an undulating facade made entirely from highly reflective 3-layer glass wrapping around the building.
It will cover over 41,000 square metres. The building leans in towards the heart of the CBD and its roof, visible from the expressways that pass it, has varying curves designed into it as it approaches the upper storeys.
Grocon worked on the design with architects HASSELL.
It was originally thought that the site would become the new Google headquarters as it could fit 4,000 workstations and 5,000 people in an agile activity-based work space, however those plans were scrapped and a new hotel, serviced apartments and a retail centre will be built instead.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that the entire site will be closed on September 25.
There’s a lot of redevelopment happening in the area. Following the Commonwealth Bank’s development of Darling Quarter, the nearby Sydney Convention Centre is being rebuilt in a $1 billion makeover, and Mirvac Group is in the process of acquiring the Harbourside shopping centre.
Only a few blocks further north, there’s Barangaroo, the site of more major developments including James Packer’s proposed casino.
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