Darling Square embodies a new urban typology, fusing landscape, architecture, art, food and culture. A captivating new world-class urban neighbourhood has rejuvenated the heart of Sydney. It is home to 4,200 residents, 2,500 workers, and more than 60 retail and food stores, attracting visitors and locals alike.

Darling Square sits on the site of the former Entertainment Centre and car park, south of the revitalised Darling Harbour Live precinct. With a renewed sense of place and position, urban connections are forged, realigning and reconverging the city with its prior landscape and landmarks. Straddling Tumbalong Boulevard, Darling Square provides both destination and reconnection of Darling Harbour to its surrounding urban context of Central Station, Ultimo and Chinatown.

A new city neighbourhood

The precinct includes a strong, pedestrian focused network of city streets, laneways and the 20-metre-wide pedestrian boulevard bisecting the ground plane, with the public square as the focal point.

The removal of the Entertainment Centre and Car Park created a unique opportunity for a large, undivided, central plot in a pivotal part of the city. Recognising the potential of the site, Lendlease ran a limited design ideas competition to develop new concepts for the design of the public square and adjacent laneway. ASPECT Studios won the competitive process and was subsequently engaged by Lendlease to develop the design for the public domain across Darling Square.

ASPECT Studios’ competition winning design responded to the principles of Lendlease’s brief with three primary design moves that altered the existing master plan.




Competition Phase, Concept Design, Development Application, Design Development, Documentation, Construction Administration


Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW, Australia


ASPECT Studios, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Arcadis, Denton Corker Marshall (master plan), Hassell (master plan), Peta Kruger, Brendan Van Hek




Brett Boardman