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Winter Sports World design unveiled

A unique alpine exterior with ``ice shard’’ details, night lights and subtle textural surfaces to evoke the appearance of a ``blizzard’’, inspired by the melting of glacial ice and the flow of water to the nearby Dyarubbin (Nepean River).

The final design of Australia’s first indoor snow resort has been unveiled.

Nicknamed ``the giant Esky’’ by some and ``a snow cloud above a hill’’ by the architect, Winter Sports World will be built in Penrith NSW.

Local developer Peter Magnisalis lodged a development application of state significance for Winter Sports World with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on 11 November 2022.

The Winter Sports World exterior architecture was designed by boutique Sydney architecture firm Collins & Turner, which won a design competition over two other firms.

It also collaborated with Connection with Country strategy with local First Nations artist Jamie Eastwood, landscape architecture JLA Landscape Architects, environmental design consultant and engineers Atelier Ten, facade/structural engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan and lighting design Electrolight.

Mr Magnisalis said he was relieved to finally lodge the State Significant Development Application (SSDA).

``Seven years after the initial idea, Winter Sports World can finally take real shape.

``Collins & Turner have exceeded my expectations. They appreciate the vision and understand the practical requirements of Winter Sports World and have delivered a design of outstanding beauty and uniqueness to an international standard as a landmark of significance.’’

Collins & Turner architect Huw Turner said the appointment is one of the most significant commissions for the studio and complemented ongoing projects in the sports and leisure sector including the Huntley Street Sport and Recreation Centre for City of Sydney, Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway for Transport for NSW (with Aspect Studios), and a new water sports hub at Bank Street Park Pyrmont that was part of the regeneration of Blackwattle Bay in collaboration with landscape architects Oculus.

The Winter Sports World building facade design was inspired by a singular conceptual vision – the shimmering, ephemeral, kinetic energy of snow clouds above a hill, he said.

Using real snow, the $400 million Winter Sports World development will include:

  • 300m advanced open run for experienced skiers and snow boarders, learn to ski runs and a dedicated winter wonderland snow play area

  • Competition venue for snow sports such as alpine skiing

  • Ice climbing and crevasse outdoor rock climbing

  • 4.5-star 170-room hotel, conference and function rooms

  • Restaurant and cafes with snow views

The more than 300m northern facade to Jamison Road will glow at night with kinetic lighting giving the appearance of a blizzard, while the public area and curved lower-level facade will have the appearance of melting ice.

The undulating landscape will include features such as water streams, pathway networks, landscaped plantings and large 8m high message sticks to mimic melting ice and mountains telling the stories of the First Nations people and how they lived on Dyarubbin (Nepean River).

``We have consulted extensively with representatives of the Dharug nation, have collaborated with local First Nations artists and designers and will continue to seek ways to introduce new partnerships that inspire and educate local and international visitors about this ancient land and culture,’’ Mr Magnisalis said.

The Collins & Turner submission states the project also aims to ``contribute to building a future that reflects the unique landscape of our country and directly embeds the story of the oldest living culture in the world’’.

Winter Sports World will also feature numerous sustainability elements.

It has been designed to be net-zero carbon ready by reducing embodied carbon; eliminating fossil fuel use on site; minimising energy use; supplying energy with onsite renewable sources; buying green power for remaining energy needs; and offsetting remaining emissions.

Currently a 2.35ha horse paddock located within the vibrant Riverlink Tourism Precinct at Penrith, Winter Sports World is expected to generate more than 1350 new ongoing tourism jobs once open and inject more than $220 million a year into the local economy with around 1 million visitors annually.

The attraction will attract international elite snow athletes and provide a training venue for Olympic sports such as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboard.

Winter Sports World is expected to open in 2025 before the region welcomes millions of international guests through Western Sydney International Airport 15km away in 2026.

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