Parramatta City Council - Futuristic commercial office towers vie to win
Parramatta Square design competition!
A pair of futuristic, conical commercial office towers wrapped in photovoltaic panels and topped with wind turbines has become one of four proposals being considered for construction in Parramatta Square.
Parramatta City Council’s Parramatta Square Stages 5 and 6 design competition jury yesterday confirmed those in contention to design towers in the Square are: Sydney-based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Johnson Pilton Walker, Bates Smart and Italy-based Mario Cucinella Architects.
The four teams were chosen from a field of 73 designs from firms across the United States to Uganda, and Perth to Sydney, submitted to Council last month. Concepts ranged from contemporary interpretations of the traditional office block, to futuristic and sculptural towers.
When constructed, the commercial towers will add up to 140,000 square metres of office space to the Parramatta CBD and function as two of the key centrepieces of the vital three hectare Parramatta Square site in the heart of the CBD.
Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid said: “We’re delighted to see such forward-thinking, innovative solutions. Without question, this creative range of designs, submitted by many of the leading architecture firms across the world today, will help us meet our future business, cultural, entertainment and tourism needs, and signpost Parramatta in a distinctive, unique way.”
“Council is very confident in the strength of the four proposals selected, and looks forward to the construction of signature buildings for the city of Parramatta in the near future,” Cr Chedid.
“We thank our jury for their expertise - NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet, City of Sydney Director of City Planning, Development & Transport Graham Jahn, NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure urban design team leader Elisabeth Peet, and Parramatta City Council’s Director of Property Development Scott Gregg.”
Each proposal was assessed in terms of its sustainability, design, urban design, feasibility, and innovation.
Describing the four finalists, the jury said the Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp proposal was for “two elegant, connected, tapering geometric towers that have the potential to become signature buildings in Parramatta Square”.
Of the Johnson Pilton Walker proposal, they said it created links between Parramatta Square, Darcy Street and the Parramatta Station concourse, extending open public space over the two levels. They added: “The rectilinear towers hover high above the new open space, which is a grand gesture to Parramatta Square.”
The Bates Smart scheme “proposes a differentiated active podium that addresses Parramatta Square, activating it with a mix of retail uses. Two rectilinear towers with deep recesses form a backdrop rather than an iconic gesture”.
Commenting on the Mario Cucinella Architects proposal, they said: “This environmentally-focused scheme proposes a pair of conical towers whose surface is animated by a breathable photovoltaic system. The roof plane features sculptural wind turbines signalling the sustainable emphasis of this design.”
Each of the four chosen teams will now compete in a design excellence competition closing on 6th December. Each will receive $30,000 on submission of a complying scheme, with Council announcing the winning design before the end of the year.
The firm appointed for Stages 5 and 6 will join a range of internationally recognised architecture firms already appointed to design other landmark buildings within the Parramatta Square precinct.
Stage 1, a commercial building at 169 Macquarie Street, was awarded to Architectus; Stage 2, the Aspire residential tower at 160 Church Street, was awarded to Grimshaw Architects; and Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp was appointed to design community/Council facilities and commercial space for Stage 3.
From left: Parramatta Square Stages 5 & 6 competition design concepts by Mario Cucinella Architects, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Johnson Pilton Walker, and Bates Smart.
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