News, Culture & Society

Sydney $11.3 million ‘tapeworm’ sculpture approved

The construction of a giant $11.3 million sculpture in Sydney’s CBD will go ahead after a heated council meeting saw it claim a majority vote on Tuesday. 

The enormous ‘Cloud Arch’ structure, planned to tower 58 metres over George Street, won six votes to four after a heated hour-long debate.

Having far exceeded it’s initial predicted cost of $3.5 million, the project had become a target of controversy among councilors, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

 

The construction of a giant $11.3 million sculpture in Sydney’s CBD will go ahead after a heated council meeting saw it claim a majority vote on Tuesday

The steep increase in cost was attributed to ‘serious and unforeseen constraints’ by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

‘We have had to change the footings [of the arch] and as a result the design has also changed,’ she said. 

The remodeled design will span to almost double the width of the original plans, calling for an extra 83 tonnes of steel, which according to council documents, accounts for 39 per cent of the cost hike. 

There’s a huge $8 million difference between the original design (left) and the newest proposal (right) which is expected to cost $11.3 million

Construction costs had also increased as a result, taking into account the complexity of working around the ongoing light rail construction. 

Liberal councillor Christine Forster and independent councillor Angela Vithoulkas, criticised the new proposal despite voting in its support in 2014.

Cr Forster likened the design to a ‘big tapeworm’ and argued against it reaping similar tourism benefits to Goulburn’s Big Merino and Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana.

The steep increase in cost was attributed to 'serious and unforeseen constraints' by Lord mayor Clover Moore

The steep increase in cost was attributed to ‘serious and unforeseen constraints’ by Lord mayor Clover Moore

‘I’m not convinced Sydney’s big tapeworm is going to drive quite the same visitation that Goulburn and Coffs Harbour have achieved with their investments,’ she said. 

Cr Vithoukas argued the piece of art would have little impact on the city’s small business owners and ratepayers.

‘I don’t think any of them will be walking past this project and looking up in awe,’ she said. 

The remodeled design will span to almost double the width of the original plans, calling for an extra 83 tonnes of steel

The remodeled design will span to almost double the width of the original plans, calling for an extra 83 tonnes of steel

While many were quick to question if such a significant cost outlay was a necessary or responsible move for the council, architect and Clover Moore independent team, Cr Philip Thalis urged others to embrace the ‘risk and controversy’. 

‘It’s not about dollars and cents. We’re not being bean counters here…’We’re actually approaching this with imagination about our city and what it can become,’ he said. 

The spending as already begun on the piece of abstract art, with it racking up $1.4 million in total, including $380,000 which was paid to Japanese architect, Junya Ishigami, for the design. 

Councilors against the structure argue its benefits won't be felt by the city's small business owners and ratepayers

Councilors against the structure argue its benefits won’t be felt by the city’s small business owners and ratepayers

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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