INVITED COMPETITION – 30TH MARCH – WINNING DESIGN
5 Parramatta Square is designed as an extension of its civic heart, Parramatta Square, growing out of the Square in a natural fragmented pattern, providing a natural escarpment of public spaces which can be climbed and explored.
The design delivers civic permeability through physical and visual connections:
– Horizontal permeability through the building, from Parramatta Square on the south to north in the direction of Leigh Church,
– Vertical permeability through the building with the use of voids and linking stairs.
– The use of transparent materials, creates a welcoming, friendly, open, expressive and playful building.
1. A FORM BASED ON THE SUN PATH
The building form rises from Parramatta Square to allow generous sun penetration.
The building form creates an intermediate scale: a human scale that is open to guide people to its entrance. The upper part of the building volume emphasizes the symbolic nature of the civic centre, and becomes a memorable landmark.
2. EMBRACING AND PROTECTING THE EXISTING TOWN HALL
Our concept for the project is to embrace the existing Town Hall building. The new volume slips past and over the existing Town Hall Auditorium. The south western lower levels produce a new lobby for the Town Hall, and the highest levels stretch over the town hall to produce a monumental and magnificent interior space.
3. CREATING AN ICON, THE FUTURE CIVIC SPIRE
Our intention is to create a movement, respecting the existing’s building scale at the western extremity, and raised higher section at the eastern end to fit with the future PS3. The result is a very contextual volume, as well as a mobile and dynamic shape which follows the sun.
4. A GENEROUS MIX OF INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SPACES
Terraces are created to emphasize adjacent functions and to offer beautiful outdoor spaces. The volume is cut to integrate those terraces, which can be protected from too much sun.
5. EXPRESS THE RICHNESS OF THE FUNTIONAL PROGRAM; A STACK OF CRYSTALLINE VOLUMES
The whole building volume is divided in a series of stacked crystalline blocks, angled irregularly in a fragmented manner, slowly becoming vertical at the top of the building, producing a fin of transparent glass which slowly rises up to the north east.
Each horizontal group of crystalline blocks represents one level. Like a big succession of escarpments, the architecture can be seen as a sculpture, which is carved, following the constraint of the solar path.
6. THE BUILDING AS A WONDERFUL INNER PROMENADE FOR THE INHABITANTS
Each level of the building is accessible to the public.
The architecture becomes a generous promenade, both vertically and horizontally, crystallizing all the panoramic views and flows, from the existing Town Hall to the most innovative new functions.
7. THE LOWER PART THE ESCARPMENT IS REVERSED TO WELCOME THE PUBLIC AND PROTECT IT BENEATH A GIANT “MARQUEE”
The lower zone of the building is shaped by the public space, welcoming the pedestrians close to the entrances, protecting them with a generous cantilever, to greet the public.
It is an asymmetrical sculpture, with a large cantilever on the east part and less cantilever as it approaches the existing town hall, as a polite gesture with respectful movement.
8. A SMOOTH CRYSTALLINE ENVELOPE EMPHASIZING A WARM INNER ATMOSPHERE
Transparency is important for the project to express the animation inside and the richness of its life. The concept is to have a highly glazed façade, and to protect it from the sun with a series of external screens which will be micro-perforated. The screens will be designed to diffuse a beautiful light inside, as well as provide views to the outside.
The look of the building will be very smooth, coloured with a pearly white: as the screens envelop the thinner part of the building, going through the upper levels, the more they will become translucent, it will be as though the building was dematerializing as it moves closer to the sky. The sun will shine through the last crystalline blocks, giving a spectacular translucent atmosphere.
9. THE ARCHITECTURE BEING THE SUPPORT FOR MULTIMEDIA EVENTS
In addition our concept is for the project to be communicative, to publicize all the City’s events, to complement the activities within, and to express Parramatta’s dynamism.
The screens are a perfect envelop to support multimedia: the idea is to allow the whole south façade/roof to be a screen of multimedia projections. It can be artist works, events programs, specific installations, and so on.
The lower part of the building, the screens will be replaced by a whole LED screen.
Location: Church St, Parramatta NSW, Australia -33.815868, 151.003928
Architects in association: DesignInc, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, Lacoste+Stevenson Architects,
Date: 2016 – 2022
Team: Manuelle Gautrand, Cecile Ortolo, Richard Does, Thierry Lacoste, David Stevenson, Nicolas Bien, Sandor Duzs, Fiona Robertson, Jaycy Lee, Ian Armstrong , Yna Yin, Andrii Gribovski, Ngoc Tran
Photography / images: Lacoste+Stevenson Architects, Luxigon, Doug and Wolf