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Four Teams Shortlisted For Parramatta Square Design Competition

Four designs for two large commercial towers in the heart of Sydney have been unveiled by Parramatta City Council, with proposals from Sydney based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Johnson Pilton Walker, Bates Smart, and Italian practice Mario Cucinella Architects. Attracting over 73 submissions from around the world, the two towers will act as the centerpiece for the Parramatta Square's three-hectare site. 

The shortlist is part of stages five and six of the total master plan, previous projects of which have been awarded to the likes of Grimshaw Architects. Review the projects and read the jury's comments after the break...

Councillor John Chedid, Lord Mayor of Sydney, described the the projects as "forward-thinking, innovative solutions," going on to say that "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."

Johnson Pilton Walker

Of the Johnson Pilton Walker scheme, the jury said that it created links between Parramatta Square, Darcy Street and the Parramatta Station concourse, extending open public space over the two levels. They added that "the rectilinear towers hover high above the new open space, which is a grand gesture to Parramatta Square."

Johnson Pilton Walker. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council
Johnson Pilton Walker. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council

"Among the 53-storey buildings’ key features are: a cantilevering double-height sky terrace on the 25th floor; a double-height sky lobby on the 27th floor accommodating public and semi-public spaces; an edge-defining retail podium along the southern edge of the future Square; and a clear, accessible and active link between Parramatta transport interchange and Parramatta Square" (Parramatta City Council).

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp's proposal was described as "two elegant, connected, tapering geometric towers that have the potential to become signature buildings in Parramatta Square."

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council
Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council

Bates Smart

Bates Smart's project "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."

Bates Smart. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council
Bates Smart. Image Courtesy of Parramatta City Council

Mario Cucinella Architects

When commenting on Mario Cucinella Architects' proposal, the jury said that "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 signaling the sustainable emphasis of this design."

According to Parramatta Council, the four chosen teams "will now compete in a design excellence competition closing on 6th December." Each will then receive $30,000 on submission of a complying scheme and the council will announce the winner before the end of the year.

Parramatta Square Design Competition Jury: 

  • Peter Poulet (City of Sydney Director of City Planning)
  • Graham Jahn (Development & Transport)
  • Elisabeth Peet (Department of Planning and Infrastructure urban design team leader) 
  • Scott Gregg (Parramatta City Council's Director of Property Development)
  • References: Parramatta City Council

    Cite:James Taylor-Foster. "Four Teams Shortlisted For Parramatta Square Design Competition" 14 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/448881/four-teams-shortlisted-for-parramatta-square-design-competition/>