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    Deep voids and glass floors display historic remains below AJ+C’s Parramatta tower

    Nathan Johnson

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    Allen Jack + Cottier (AJ+C) in conjunction with Koichi Takada have lodged a modification to their approved mixed use project at 45-47 Macquarie Street, Parramatta giving further detail and imagery of the 29-storey building that will sit atop the historic remains of a convict hut.

    ‘V by Crown’ made headlines in early 2014 when the remnants of an 1840s house identified as an underlying convict hut, wheelwright’s workshop, and the cellar of the Wheatsheaf Hotel were uncovered during the excavations of the building’s six-level basement.

    A spokesperson for V by Crown then expressed their “exhilaration” in uncovering such intact remains and dedicated significant portion of the apartment building to sheltering and displaying the findings.

    Michael Heenan, design principal at Allen Jack + Cottier Architects, says the team was thrilled to be involved in a development with such strong historical groundings.

    “It was fortuitous that such an important piece of history existed in a location so central, in the midst of an urban city,” says Heenan.

    “It was very important the design acknowledged the unique heritage of the site.”

    Specifically, the in situ historic remains will be on display to the public at the Macquarie Street entrance to V by Crown under a protective canopy provided by elevating the tower element on two V columns. The archaeology can be viewed from the plaza through a void in the floor plate over the remains in the basement as well as a new circular glass floor element. Artefacts from the archaeological dig will also be displayed in an ‘Interpretation Centre’.

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    AJ+C have also made modifications to the height of the south-western part of the building fronting Hunter Street, proposed a new rooftop bar and made changes to the façade palette since it was approved for development in 2014.

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    The modifications are currently being assessed by NSW Planning & Environment.

    Images: AJ+C

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