Monday, 16 May 2016

1985: Kenzo Tange turns World Square into a Lotus Flower (Evolution of World Square)

Continuing on in our series in the evolution of World Square, we move forward to 1985, where a fourth tower is introduced into the World Square development. The idea of introducing a fourth tower was to make the towers form a lotus flower.

World Square december 2 1985 smh

Source: Shanahan, S. "Four towers to replace Anthony Horderns". The Sydney Morning Herald, December 2: 2.

In 1986, the Anthony Horderns Building was demolished even though the $1 billion project had yet to be formally approved. In the same year, the NSW Government assumed planning control of the site. Planning and Environment Minister (and future Premier) Bob Carr was handed power to approve the development, which he did in April 1987.

World Square Approved April 7 1987 SMH

Aubin, T & Coultar, M. 1987. "Approval for World Square". The Sydney Morning Herald, April 7: 3

By the end of the decade and the site had been dug to 30 metres below street level. On the corner of George and Goulburn Streets, one of the office towers (George Tower) was well under construction, with work beginning in December 1988. This tower would become 680 George Street.

Above: The office tower at the corner of George and Goulburn Street was under construction in 1990 when work stopped. This was taken in October 2002 just before work recommenced on its construction. Photos taken by the Author.

However disputes with unions and workers would fuel the collapse of the project in mid 1990 and for over a decade, we would see inactivity at the site.

Next week we will look at the idle years at World Square and Hordern Towers. Then we will move onto the gradual formation of World Square as we see it today.