Peddle Thorp and Walker Architects (PTW), in association with Collins and Turner and McGregor Coxall, has revealed their winning proposal in the competition to transform Parramatta’s former Cumberland Newspaper site. Selected by an independent design jury, the mixed-use scheme features three towers, each incorporating residential, commercial, retail and public spaces. The towers line the south and western edges of a new urban plaza, which opens up to a public reserve on the banks of the Parramatta River.
One of the key elements of the proposal is the maximization of the views afforded from its central position, with the Sydney CBD rising to the east, and the Blue Mountains beyond the Parramatta River to the north. Yet this focus on connectivity is not exclusively visual, passageways encourage pedestrians to walk across the plaza to the riverfront, explain the architects in a press release.
Situated at the gateway to Sydney’s second largest central business district, the new scheme had to respect several adjacent heritage sites, while delivering a programmatically dense collection of buildings. The proposal includes 964 residential apartments, which are distributed across a 60- story tower and two smaller buildings of 25 and 35 stories. The design was driven by the desire for the buildings to be recognised as both a collective as well as individual entities.
Solar access, shading and view acted as catalysts for the orientation of the masses and the articulation of the facades, with extra sensitivity taken to not overshadow or detract from the existing historical context.
In accordance with these principles, the tallest tower shifts in orientation in its uppermost portion, creating visual interest in the Parramatta skyline.
A cohesive material palette of masonry brick and metals unify the three towers, with architects Collins and Turner describing their medium-height building as “designed to appear from a distance as a 3-dimensional collage of woven multi-toned metallic tapestries.” The facades have an added dynamism through the colored modulation of shading devices, allowing the buildings to glisten in the sun.
“Our vision for the public domain allows the tallest residential tower to energise the new plaza directly, with the two taller towers responding to one another and the skyspace between the two creating an exciting silhouette,” said PTW Director, Siobhan McInerney, in a press release.
Location142 Macquarie St, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia