Star Casino hits snag over ‘disturbing’ tower design

Star Casino newsThe Star’s plans for a new hotel and residential tower are in tatters after a scathing architectural review of the design.

The Sydney casino was refused planning permission for the 237-metre spire back in July, with one city councillor calling the proposal “completely inappropriate” and referring to the ongoing issues with the Crown Resorts development at Barangaroo.

“It’s basically a rocket that’s just landed in Pyrmont,” said Cr Philip Thalis.

“It’s completely inappropriate, the city said as much, and if you want proof of how destructive these sorts of buildings are you just have to look straight across the water at Crown.”

Because the tower received more than 25 official objections, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment referred the case to the Independent Planning Commission.

Yvonne von Hartel, the architect appointed by the IPC, was less than flattering in her peer review of the FJMT design.

“The built form of the proposed development is challenging to the eye and the mind; a tower that tapers inwards at its base is contrary to ‘common sense’; the eye expects a thickening at the base not a constriction,” she wrote.

“The tower itself is not sleek – rather it is a combination of cylindrical and part cylindrical forms which start and stop apparently randomly.”

Von Hartel pointed out that while the proposed tower would house a hotel and apartments, it would inevitably “draw attention to the attached casino”.

She also said “it will be so much taller than any currently permissible development in the future and the singularity of a tower in Pyrmont and its disturbing built form will mark it as an intrusive object on the skyline”.

Star Entertainment was not deterred when the initial plans were rejected in July, but it remains to be seen how the firm will proceed after this latest setback.