Architecture firm Fender Katsalidis has been awarded a contract to design a $230m office tower in Parramatta, Sydney. The tower, to be located at 32 Smith Street, draws design inspiration from the nearby Parramatta River.

According to the firm, the design approach can be reduced to several key elements:

  • Striving to deliver a compelling urban response to the surrounding context
  • Recognising the site’s gateway responsibilities
  • Connecting the city to the river
  • Uniting the existing street wall into one cohesive, dynamic public realm and commercial environment.

Image: Fender Katsalidis

“Through a series of massing studies, we developed a strategy of elevating the tower from the corner to open up the public realm. This allows vistas through to the river and an opening to the junction, to build upon the northern gateway,” says the architect.

“The lower podium consists of two pebble forms which are highly activated and warm in materiality extending into the laneways. The pebbles extend out from the tower to reduce down draft effect at the ground plane.

“The upper podium adopts the same form as the tower, but is broken to respond to the street wall. The ventilated car park facade also acts as a wind dampener.

“The tower is simple in form and has been shaped as a “building in the round” and its curved pebble form reduces glare and wind creating a friendly sculptural tower.”