Hassell’s new scheme for Sydney IMAX site recommended for approval

The new proposal for the ribbon by hassell at sydney’s darling harbour
The new proposal for the Ribbon by Hassell at Sydney’s Darling Harbour

The modified proposal for the redevelopment of the IMAX theatre site in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, designed by Hassell, has been recommended for approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, despite drawing “serious concerns” about the building’s bulk and impact on public space.

The proposal building, dubbed “the Ribbon,” will now be assessed by the state’s independent Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision.

The scheme is a modification on an earlier proposal for the site that received planning approval in 2014.

Originally proposed as an office tower, the new scheme will instead house a 25-storey hotel, serviced apartments and a retail and entertainment complex with an upgrade to the Imax theatre.

The modified scheme replaces the continuous diagrid glazed panels that wrapped the building with a combination of louvres and panels in a metallic finish. A void has also been carved into the eastern elevation, breaking up what was previously a continuous surface in the earlier design.

The new submission also proposes a “city screen” for the lower levels of the western façade, to be used for tenants of the building and for the public screening of special events, such as sporting finals. […]