Barangaroo & architectural sour grapes

P1130596The whole of the Barangaroo story is messy. Sydney based architectural writers are not very happy. Yes their chosen few did not get the contract. Yes even the next team did not survive.

In the end we have a great park thanks to Paul Keating’s aspirations and determination. Meanwhile the buildings to the south have become a developers paradise. Inserted into this has come the most offensive aspect of all – the casino and its grand edifice of a building.

The buildings will most likely be just another set of international style towers that will add to the growing unattractive nature of Sydney’s inner city built landscape.

As expected the Sydney based writers are blaming everyone involved – everyone except anyone from their own clans.

They ignore the well established precedent that the architectural professionals rarely openly oppose the government and the development lobby in how development is delivered across cities such as Sydney.

They usually need to remain on side as the government and developers are the ones who provide the jobs to the architectural professions.

So usually you hear very little except for the occasional broad feel good statements. It is very rare to hear any real substantive objections despite the obvious that so much of the city’s built environment is becoming less and less attractive and livable.

In the case of Barangaroo, the sour grapes are not that so much of the buildings will be just more of the same unattractive towers, it is that they are not being delivered by those favoured by the inner city architectural club who believe that all the main jobs should come their way.

Here’s fine example of what I am talking bout – click here.

It is a bitter review of the Barangaroo project. All through the piece you can hear the teeth grinding as the writer projects onto others all that is wrong with the project.

There is absolutely no acknowledgement that such crimes are ever day occurrences across the city on so many other building projects.

The crimes are not new and are just part of the greater crime that happy daily due to the relationships between government planning and development agencies, politicians, developers and their supporters in the related professions.

In many cases it also leads to planning decisions that favour an inner circle of developers and their related professional planning and architectural consultants.

This issue of these closed relationships has been addressed in an article that focuses on the historic problem in Queensland but which has ramifications across all Australian cities, including here in Canberra.

Click here for that article.

Meanwhile the architectural writers continue with their fake rage about how the developers are delivering certain projects — when the real issue is that their friends are not the ones on the projects.

Such articles expressing such mannered sour grapes are sad to witness.

But that’s what not being able to be transparent and objective delivers!


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Paul Costigan

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