Sydney architect’s controversial building is not just for the rich and famous, it’s for the homeless
Architect and urban design pioneer Michael Maclaren has been criticised for the controversial building that has become known as the ‘Hooded Man’.
But what is it, and how has it impacted Sydney’s homeless population?
Architectural Designer Sydney’s landmark Sydney building will remain empty, despite complaints from some of its neighbours about the design.
Michael Maclarell (left) and his company, Maclancas Architects, in 2008.
Source: Supplied Michael MacLaren, the architect behind the controversial ‘Hoover Hotel’ (pictured), has been accused of racism and racism-related design offences after it was revealed his firm had failed to include enough housing for homeless people in a project that included the controversial Hooded Man.
The architect’s designs for the Hooters Restaurant in Sydney’s west had been criticised by locals for being too similar to the Sydney Olympic Park’s ‘Dome’.
But it was only in November last year that his firm was criticised for failing to include housing for the estimated 50,000 people in the project.
The design for the Sydney Hooters, which was criticised by the locals.
Sydney’s housing shortage has been exacerbated by the arrival of the homeless.
A report by The Conversation revealed that the number of people sleeping rough in the city had doubled in the last three years, with the number on the streets more than quadrupled.
In March last year, the government announced it was spending $25 million to upgrade Sydney’s streets to prevent the spread of HIV.
But in the wake of that report, the City of Sydney’s executive director, Richard Gubbins, said it would be up to developers to make the necessary upgrades.
“This has been a very difficult issue for the city of Sydney to deal with,” Mr Gubbens told the ABC.
“The majority of the projects that are currently under construction in the City have been designed by a developer who’s already committed to a particular project in Sydney and it’s the developers that are responsible for the overall sustainability of the development.”
He said that in order to ensure the future of the project, the council would need to “take a leadership role” in ensuring the project was built according to the city’s environmental guidelines.
“It’s a really difficult issue and I would encourage everyone to look at all of the issues, all of our projects, that are involved, and make sure that we’re looking at what is actually sustainable,” Mr Maclarancas said.
“And if we’re not, then the next project that comes along, the next piece of work that comes through, that is going to be a disaster.”
Sylvia MacLancas’ iconic design for Sydney’s Hooters.
A spokesman for Mr Gubbins said that the city did not “expect any changes” to the project once it was approved by the NSW Government.
“We don’t expect any changes at this stage to the Hobs Hotel,” the spokesman said.
“We don of course have the funding to make it a success, but the building is the right place at the right time.”
A new Hooters in Sydney, but not in Sydney.
Source ABC News.
“This project was designed to help people who are homeless to access affordable housing and that’s a priority for the council,” he said.
But critics have been critical of the decision to leave the building’s existing residential units untouched.
Hooters Restaurant is a popular Sydney landmark and a place where homeless people gather, drink and dance, and which has been the subject of numerous media reports.
Archaeologist Alan Robertson said he had not seen the project’s design until he visited the city in the summer.
I’ve never seen a building this large in Sydney,” he told ABC Sydney.
He was impressed with the design, and the quality of the work, but also worried about its impact on the homeless population.
After reading a story about the project on the ABC’s The View, Mr Robertson took to Facebook to express his concerns.
People need housing, he wrote, not luxury cars.
As the construction of a new Hobs Restaurant in the heart of Sydney continues, more criticism has been levelled at the controversial development.
‘I’m scared’: Homeless woman shares her experiences in a video posted by the ABC News 24 website.
Source The View.
When I walked into the building, I thought, ‘I’ve seen this before.
I’ve seen what happens when the homeless get in.’
But I wasn’t expecting to find a homeless woman in a wheelchair on the street.
I walked in and she was very much disabled and had her own issues.
It was really sad and very upsetting, and I’m scared for her safety and for her future.