In 2013, WilkinsonEyre won an international design competition for the Crown Hotel in Sydney. The brief was to create a high-quality, landmark design on the spectacular harbour site to capture the vibrancy of Sydney and create a strong new destination on the waterfront.
The concept takes its inspiration from nature, composed of an elegant, curved geometry. The tower’s form emanates from three petals that twist and rise together, and its sculptural shape maximises the opportunity for accommodation to make the most of the views of Sydney's famous bridge and harbour.
Many of the city's well-known buildings are situated along Sydney's waterfront, Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House one of the most famous. The Crown Hotel is a little further along on the Barangaroo waterfront in East Darling Harbour. Central to the design of the hotel is the idea that it should be a sculptural, curvilinear form, an inhabited artwork, which contrasts with the more orthogonal geometry of the tall buildings in the central business district.
The geometry of the tower is complex and was derived using parametric 3D modelling. It accommodates a 60-degree twist in the outer skin with helical columns on the perimeter while maintaining a vertical core structure. The challenges that this creates for the internal layout are addressed by the setting out of residential villas and apartments in the tower as a spiral, whilst the majority of the hotel rooms are stacked vertically in their own wing.