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Hassell and Populous to take on major Sydney leisure project

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Hassell and Populous have scooped the deal to design a major exhibition and entertainment precinct in Sydney.

The partnership will also design extensive public parklands and open space for the 20ha site at the Australian city’s famous Darling Harbour.

It follows the appointment of the Destination Sydney consortium, which includes Lend Lease, to develop the Aus$1billion (£650m) scheme.

Hassell design leader Ken Maher said the firm was delighted to be transforming a key Sydney district.

‘The re-making of Darling Harbour is a rare opportunity to design a significant new quarter within the central city,’ he said.

‘It extends the urban fabric and re-connects the city to Ultimo and Pyrmont with more permeable networks of streets and lanes.

‘Importantly it can bring a new level of public amenity for visitors and citizens alike through extended public parkland that is identifiably ‘Sydney’ in character.’

Populous designed both the London and Sydney Olympic stadiums as well as 45 convention and exhibition centres around the world.

Senior principal Richard Breslin said the Darling Harbour venue would showcase the city to the world.

‘It will be a fusion of architecture and landscape, of indoors and outdoors, of engagement, education, living, creative working and entertainment,’ said Breslin.

The scheme will include a convention facility capable of holding three concurrent events of up to 2,500 delegates; and exhibition capacity of 40,000m².

It will also feature a grand ballroom with banqueting space for up to 2,000; and an external event deck of 5,000m².

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