Darling Harbour architect condemns redevelopment plans

Darling Harbour Convention Centre
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Renowned architect and designer of the Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour, John Andrews has registered his disapproval of plans to demolish the complex, condemning the decision as 'rather stupid'.

'Does it make sense to pull down $120 million worth of structure that's perfectly all right?' he said. 'We just haven't grown up, we haven't developed any good manners and we don't protect and look after our good things.'

The decision to destroy the semi-circular convention centre displayed 'a lack of understanding of history, of architecture or city planning'.

Andrews is joined by fellow architect, Philip Cox, who designed the adjoining exhibition centre, in criticising plans to destroy the buildings rather than incorporate them into the new design.

According to Infrastructure NSW, Sydney is in dire need of world-class facilities to more effectively compete for large events, and the existing buildings are too small to meet demand.

But Mr Andrews believes the centre should be conserved and expanded. 'I don't understand why the [new] architects … are so keen to knock everything down. Why don't they just reuse things and add to them?' he said, adding that he learned of its impending demolition from reports in the media.

DH Convention Centre
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Andrews is a preeminent Australian talent, whose work is in international demand. He is renowned for the futuristic Intelsat Headquarters in Washington, the CN Tower in Toronto and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

In Australia, he designed the Cameron Offices in Canberra, the American Express Tower in Sydney and convention centres in Melbourne and Adelaide.