A new A-grade commercial building to be located in the heart of Penrith is one step closer to becoming a reality, after a Development Application (DA) was lodged with Penrith City Council.

Located at 131 Henry Street, the new building is designed by Woods Bagot. The project seeks to transform the former Penrith Council Chambers into a workplace of the future, with 7,300sqm of A-grade commercial space, ground floor retail, on-site parking, green spaces and a building fa├žade that activates both street frontages. 

Penrith City Council’s spokesperson, Karen McKeown, says the DA lodgement is a major step towards the council realising its vision to revitalise the City Centre.  

“Council is committed to investing in major revitalisation projects for Penrith such as 131 Henry Street, a new City Park and the transformation of Soper Place car park,” she says.

“Located in the heart of the CBD, 131 Henry Street will be the catalyst to set the benchmark for future commercial developments across the city.

“131 Henry Street will deliver essential A-grade commercial space to help keep jobs close to home and strengthen Penrith’s role as an employment hub within Western Sydney.  

“Throughout construction the project aims to create 150 jobs on site with a further 430 jobs upon completion, helping to boost our local economy and contributing to a thriving City Centre.”

Woods Bagot were awarded the design contract after taking out a Design Excellence Competition for the building, with an innovative design that benefits both the community and the future workers. The practice has worked closely with Penrith City Council, which has allowed for a more refined design to be submitted for assessment as part of the DA. 

Architecturally, the form is composed as three distinct smaller forms, each of which emphasises one of the key ideas. The three forms allow the floors to be programmed separately or entirely, and create better natural ventilation than a uniform box, enabling the building to flexibly adapt to changing future needs.

Woods Bagot Principal, Jason Fraser, says the climate-responsive design ensures the building is both fundamentally different and equipped for the future of working within an office. 

“Informed by progressive changes underway in workplace design and the impact of recent times this will be a diverse and adaptable, breathable workspace that promotes different ways of working for different people,” he says. 

The building will incorporate best practice principles of environmentally sustainable design and is targeting a minimum 5 Star Green Star rating in line with Council’s ‘Cooling the City Strategy’. 

Council partnered with heritage specialists Curio Projects, to ensure the history of the site will be celebrated through a robust heritage interpretation strategy which includes the reuse of building elements and high-quality public domain features. COLA Studio has been entrusted with the landscape architecture for the site, which will activate the surrounding public domain and create a connection to the adjacent City Park.  

131 Henry Street will be on Public Exhibition for community feedback from 24 January to 25 February 2022. To find out more about 131 Henry Street visit the website penrith.city/131Henry.