Designed by a consortium of French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Australian firms DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson, the 6-storey building will be a space for the community to meet, work, play and study. It comprises a contemporary public library, a Discovery Centre with exhibition spaces and visitor services, creative spaces, meeting rooms, a café, and new Council Chambers.
Characterised by the sloping tessellated façade enveloping the transparent building, the project will provide abundant opportunities for digital artworks and other light projections to animate the exterior, thus interactively creating a dialogue between the building and the public. Expressive in its form, the sculpted façade rises in angle to culminate in a vertical northeast corner, creating a “futuristic form of [a] civic spire”, as described by DesignInc.
The designers sought to create a permeable structure, both physically and visually. Horizontal permeability through the building, from Parramatta square on the south towards the northern end, is achieved through the open interior layout and interconnected stairs which link each floor. The use of transparent materials covering the building provide visual connections between the interior spaces and the external public realm, creating a “welcoming, friendly, open, expressive and playful building”, as described by the consortium.
Cantilevering over the existing Town Hall, the new building will frame the Town Hall. A new lobby will provide access to the Town Hall from the new building, and the south-western lower levels will form a gentle transition between the new and old sections. This integration with Parramatta’s historic Town Hall seamlessly blends the iconic contemporary building with the City’s rich culture and unique heritage.
“We are thrilled to be appointing Built to deliver 5 Parramatta Square, the jewel in the crown of the world-class Parramatta Square precinct,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said. Built is also constructing 6 and 8 Parramatta Square, two commercial towers delivering 123,000 sqm of commercial floor space over 50 storeys.
“This new civic building will be the beating heart of Parramatta – a unique space where the community can work, study and relax. The striking design and incredible functionality of 5 Parramatta Square will undoubtedly create an iconic presence within the City,” said Cr Wilson in August 2019 when the Development Application for the project was lodged.
“City of Parramatta Council is leading the way by delivering a first-class sustainable building that will be a true asset to the community well into the future.”
5 Parramatta Square is the final addition to the 3 Ha Parramatta Square precinct, a mixed-use destination that revitalises Parramatta’s city centre. Located next to Parramatta train station and a future light rail stop, the $2.7b precinct will comprise 6 new buildings, including Western Sydney University’s Parramatta city campus, and ample commercial spaces across 4 buildings. The precinct will also include 6,000 sqm of public domain linking the precinct and serving as a place for the community to “meet, trade, shop, dine, learn, celebrate and connect.”
5 Parramatta Square is expected to be completed in April 2020, coinciding with the completion of the remaining Parramatta Square precinct.
Cover Image: The proposal for the new civic building at 5 Parramatta Square features a distinctive façade that wraps around the building, creating a sculptural envelope that culminates in an abstract spire on the northeasten end. (Image: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson)