Barangaroo Reserve allows the people to venture into a part of the Sydney Harbour that has been closed to the public for over 100 years. The parklands feature walks, grassed areas, lookouts, walking and cycle paths, a new harbour cove, and unique tidal rock pools created from sandstone excavated directly from the Barangaroo site. The reserve features a new cultural centre with a floor area of up to 18,000 sqm for potential uses within the public recreation zone, and an underground 300-space car park.

  • The Cutaway is Sydney’s newest and most flexible cultural space.
  • It provides 7,500 sqm of raw space, capable of being used in a variety of ways.
  • It can house 5,500 people comfortably at any one time.
  • It is 150m long, 50m wide and 15m high.
  • It is buried under 12,000 cubic metres of landscaping.
  • It was constructed using bridge technology, usually used on roads such as the Pacific Highway.
  • Underneath the Cutaway are two levels of car park and over 1500 cubic metres of rainwater storage tanks, up to 17 metres below sea level.

Project Value:
AUD$200 million
Year Completed:
Project Metrics:
300 space underground parking
18,000m2 cultural space
5.7 ha Parkland
Public Domain

Barangaroo Delivery Authority
Johnson Pilton Walker in association with Peter Walker & Partners Landscape Architecture
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

Robert Bird Group was commissioned to provide conceptual advice for the Headland Park and Northern Cove for the Barangaroo Public Domain. RBG developed the D&C tender documentation for the AUD$200 million redevelopment.

RBG added significant value to the project, including the following innovations:

  • The above-ground structures are almost exclusively precast, with precast wall systems being used for all vertical load-bearing elements, some panels two-storeys high.
  • The floor system is a combination of precast systems including Hollowcore and Humeslab, which allowed for more rapid construction.
  • The lift shafts and stair cores are also precast concrete, joined together by welded stitch plates, which provides the wind and earthquake resistance of the building.
  • The two level basement is constructed below the permanent water table, and features a secant pile perimeter wall, and hydrostatic basement slab on ground, to keep water out of the car park.

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