“Commenced in 2012 and now complete, it is almost impossible to overstate the importance of the Barangaroo Reserve and The Cutaway project,” says John. “This is both in terms of what it represents to the city of Sydney and as a testament to the use of innovative, industry-first technology and the development of ground-breaking design.”
Known locally as Barangaroo, the wider development comprises three parts: Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo Central and Barangaroo South. The project cost is dwarfed by the adjacent commercial and residential developments' billion dollar price tags.
The international competition winning design from Johnson Pilton Walker, in association with Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture, juxtaposes a rugged sandstone topography inspired by the naturalistic pre-1836 shoreline of the historic Port Jackson area, against the new modern west CBD. The new buildings alongside will include designs from the likes of Wilkinson Eyre architects, Renzo Piano, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Rogers Stirk and Collins and Turner.
Barangaroo Reserve and The Cutaway represent the largest amount of sandstone used on a project in Sydney in over 100 years. The construction of the 1.4-kilometre sandstone foreshore, alone, involved extracting, processing and placing 6 000 sandstone blocks weighing up to 15 tonnes each and placed as deep as three metres under the harbour.
Using 3D modelling, each sandstone block was tagged and virtually positioned. The blocks were then placed in their tagged position along the 1.4-km foreshore to create a natural looking foreshore.
“Overcoming these complex challenges required the team to think outside the box and combine traditional stone masonry techniques with BIM technology,” says John.
The design requirement for a naturalistic finish demanded 60 unique cross sections with a variety of heights. In all, there were 300 different sizes of blocks to be produced, tracked, stored and placed using a BIM model that tracked which pieces of the puzzle went where.
“Using BIM technology, we were able to document, plan and track the progress of the Cutaway, providing the project team with early certainty of project design in a visual manner and the ability to track progress against programme,” adds John.