Four of architecture’s finest has been shortlisted to design what Australian businessman James Packer hopes to be the most iconic building in Sydney since the Opera House. Italian Pritzker Prize-laureate Renzo Piano will compete against Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and London-based Wilkinson Eyre Architects to design a $1 billion, six-star Crown Sydney resort on a 6000 square meter site in the inner-city waterfront precinct of Barangaroo.
"Sydney deserves one of the world's best hotels and with these amazing architects I'm confident we will see the most iconic building constructed here since the Opera House," Packer told The Daily Telegraph. "I want this hotel resort to be instantly recognizable around the world and feature on postcards and memorabilia promoting Sydney. That's how you attract international tourists, create jobs and put Sydney on the map."
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Packer has asked each practice to design a dramatic masterpiece that will rise up to 235 meters, making it one of Sydney’s tallest. In addition, the resort must feature at least 350 rooms, including 70 luxurious suites on the upper levels of the 65-story building, along with 100 private luxury apartments, two fine dining restaurants, luxury retail, spa and beauty facilities, an executive lounge and multiple levels of VIP gaming. This will include Crown's branded experience known as the Mahogany Room, Chairman's Club and 10 Sky Private.
Three firms have already toured the site and all four shortlisted contenders are expected to submit proposals by April. A winning design will be announced in May, with construction expected to begin in 2014. If all goes planned, this new attention-seeking “masterpiece” will open its doors in 2018.