Thursday, 19 December 2013

Transforming city's skyline

Striking twin towers featuring a unique floating ‘public space in the sky’ are set to transform Parramatta’s skyline after winning Parramatta City Council’s latest international design excellence competition.
Announcing the Parramatta Square Stages 5 & 6 competition winner today, Lord Mayor John Chedid said the inspiring design by Sydney firm Johnson Pilton Walker had been unanimously chosen by a jury of industry experts.
The design for twin commercial towers was chosen from four shortlisted designs selected last month from an international field of 73 submissions from leading architects worldwide.
Cr Chedid said: “This project is essential to the revitalisation of the Parramatta town centre and to the safe, easy, pleasant delivery of pedestrians from the transport interchange to the civic heart of Parramatta.

“Council is delighted with the outcome and Johnson Pilton Walker’s design solutions. We’re confident their proposal for two beautifully linked buildings will complement all aspects of Parramatta Square, and be of premier appeal to national and international tenants.”
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.
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.
Speaking yesterday, the jury said they were impressed with all four shortlisted projects, which tackled the site in different ways. Each proposal was assessed in terms of its innovation, design, urban design, feasibility and sustainability, with the JPW plan unanimously chosen.

They said: “The JPW scheme proposes a highly legible, naturally lit connection between the rail station concourse and the future Parramatta Square, with multiple opportunities for retail activation on two levels.
“It proposes twin towers which complement but do not compete with the landmark ‘Aspire’ tower design.
These towers will provide 21stcentury workplaces in the heart of Parramatta.”
Cr Chedid thanked the jury for its expertise - NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet, City of Sydney Director of City Planning, Development & Transport Graham Jahn AM, NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure urban design team leader Elisabeth Peet, and Parramatta City Council’s Director of Property Development Scott Gregg.
“Council would also like to thank all four shortlisted practices – JPW, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Bates Smart and Mario Cucinella Architects – for the extraordinary depth of talent and creativity they brought to the competition. “Each of the four schemes was of the highest standard, and would have been a credit to the city.”

JPW now joins a range of internationally recognised architecture firms already appointed to design other landmark buildings within the Parramatta Square precinct.