Winning design unveiled for Parramatta Square’s civic and community building

Parramatta City Council last week said a cutting-edge glass construction featuring a wave-shaped façade of crystalline blocks has been selected as the winning design for Parramatta Square’s landmark civic and community building.

The design has been endorsed by Parramatta City Council after a jury voted unanimously to award the international design competition to a consortium of French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Australian firms DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson.

The design encapsulates and extends above the historic Town Hall with a cantilevered structure providing a platform for the Council Chambers. Core to the building design is a stack of transparent glass that gradually rises to the north-east with a large LED screen for public art projections.

The $50 million project will cover six-storeys with a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of approximately 8000 square metre.

Lord Mayor of Parramatta Paul Garrard congratulated Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson on producing a spectacular winning design.

“The jury was tasked with selecting an iconic design and they have certainly fulfilled that brief. The architects have produced a contemporary and thought-provoking design that is sure to become a must-see destination for visitors to Parramatta,” Cr Garrard said.

“This design truly cements 5 Parramatta Square as the civic heart of our City. The transparency of the glass façade makes the building inviting and open for the community to explore the library of the future, public roof garden, customer contact centre, visitor experience centre, community meeting rooms and technology hub.”

“All this is within a building that is designed to achieve at least a 5- Star Green Star rating.”

Built into the entire lower levels of the southern façade will be a LED screen for multimedia projections, which will be able to display images such as public art and event programs.

The upper levels of the southern façade will also be able to be used for projections of public art.

“This will be a building that defines Parramatta as a Smart City. The interactive nature of the building and library of the future will be something that locals and visitors will be able to enjoy for decades to come. It has also been cleverly designed to pay respect to heritage and merge together the past, present and future,” Cr Garrard said.

David Stevenson from Lacoste + Stevenson said the design team worked hard to ensure that public art was an essential component of the design.

“The design team’s vision for public art at 5 Parramatta Square was to make Council’s civic facilities a canvas for artistic expression in a way we haven’t seen before in a public building in Australia,” Mr Stevenson said.

“The building creates the opportunity to be transformed into an interactive public art display through shading devices that also serve as projection screens. This is truly a building for the 21st century.”

The design jury was made up of NSW Government Architect Office Director of Design Excellence Olivia Hyde, National Architects Principal Bob Nation, Parramatta City Architect Kim Crestani and Council’s Director of Property and Significant Assets Barry Mann.

In announcing its decision, the jury described the winning scheme as “an exemplary architectural masterpiece that delivers a 21st century solution within Parramatta City Council’s modern smart-city metropolis.”

The concept designs will undergo detailed analysis before a Development Application (DA) is lodged, which is expected to be by the end of 2016. The designs will be placed on public exhibition as part of the DA process.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 03 April, 2016

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