Luxury Rising — Inside One Sydney Harbour

Architect Renzo Piano dissects his latest Australian Project – One Sydney Harbour.

By Richard Clune 19/06/2021

It’s not surprising that Renzo Piano’s Genoa office owns expansive views of the ocean.

Water is an element the acclaimed architect has long known and, more so, held close. Because he’s a product of the same north Italian coastline and Ligurian Sea that he oversees most days.

As a sailor, Piano understands the ocean’s power, so too its delivery of peace; the reflection water offers, both personal and literal. The latter has dominated many of his designs.
And it’s again central to One Sydney Harbour, the Pritzker winner’s highly anticipated new Australian adventure.

Internationally acclaimed architect, Renzo Piano.

To be the final piece of the harbourside Barangaroo South puzzle, One Sydney Harbour is a three-tower dance of height, glass and wonder—providing views west to the mountains as well as those desirable money shots that capture Sydney’s famed international icons.

The consistent starting point for Piano —who found immediate acclaim in the ’70s with Paris’s emblematic Centre Pompidou and is also responsible for London’s The Shard, among a wealth of other acclaimed projects—is story. And Sydney’s tale he views as being wrapped by unique and reflected light.

“All places have a story to tell and I think Sydney has a great one,” offers Piano. “We immediately started to think about these buildings being like crystals, playing one to the other. In this case I think it’s very much about this and about making something that tells the essence of this city and that is about a sense of lightness, a sense of light and a sense of transparency.”

Fellow Italian, Emanuela Baglietto, is a partner in his firm, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and has worked with the architect for 32 years. She admits to being genuinely stunned on first engaging with the southern Australian light.

“It was much over the expectation, this special light and the water and the beautiful harbour—to see it with my own eyes was something beyond expectation and I was very happy to be able to do this project.”

The Barangaroo site is incredibly tight —a difficulty that Piano and his team readily acknowledge, though also something they eagerly embraced. He says that the trio of towers are akin to people standing shoulder to shoulder, “catching the best views and without blocking each other”, adds Baglietto.

While slender—especially when compared to the neighbouring Crown Barangaroo—the One Sydney Harbour project will reach 250 metres and 72 storeys at its peak, spanning three towers.

One Sydney Harbour
Life at the top: inside One Sydney Harbour’s ‘skyhomes’.

Having set a new national sales record for the sale of the Residences One (first tower) penthouse—said to be in the vicinity of $140 million—the Lendlease build’s Residences Two (second tower) is now open for public purchase. Entry is just beyond $2 million for a one-bedroom apartment, rising to $3.5 million for two bedrooms and three bedrooms at $5 million. Those boasting uncluttered views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House push north of $12 million.

Interest in this project has been robust, Residences One achieving 85 per cent sell-through in an off-market campaign. And Residences Two is now following this heady pattern— driven by a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Piano legacy, and expanded by peerless interiors by State of Craft’s Daniel Goldberg.

Facilities include concierge, internal and external pools, residents’ lounge, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, private dining room serviced by a commercial kitchen, billiards and wine rooms, gym, pilates, yoga and treatment rooms.

“It is a dream,” Piano offers, simply. “Built to bring something special to life.”

Indeed, his want to play upwards and in the sky—apartments boast generous ‘wintergardens’ that can be opened to allow natural airflow—is matched by what he sees below. “One Sydney Harbour will be unique for the very simple reason that you live in the air, you live in the light—almost like being suspended in between the sky and the water.”

One Sydney Harbour display suite is now open by appointment; onesydneyharbour.com

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