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    Four architectural teams vie to win Parramatta Square design comp

    Lisa Rapley

    Four designs in contention for the Parramatta Square Stages 5 and 6 design competition have been announced.

    Sydney-based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Johnson Pilton Walker, Bates Smart and Italy-based Mario Cuncinella Architects have been chosen from a field of 73.

    Concepts ranged from contemporary interpretations of the traditional office block, to futuristic and sculptural towers.

    When constructed, the towers wil add 140,000sqm of office space to the Parramatta CBD and function as two key centrepieces of the vital three hectare Square site.

    Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid says, “We’re delighted to see such forward-thinking, innovative solutions. Without questions, this creative range of designs, submitted by many of the leading architecture firms across the world today, will help us meet our future business, cultural, entertainment and tourism needs, and signpost Parramatta in a distinctive, unique way.

    “Council is very confident in the strength of the four proposals selected, and looks forward to the construction of signature building for the city of Parramatta in the near future,” he says.

    Each proposal was assessed in terms of its sustainability, design, urban design, feasibility and innovation.

    Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp’s proposal was described by the jury as “two elegant, connected, tapering geometric towers that have the potential to become signature buildings in Parramatta Square”.

    The design by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp.

    On the Johnson Pilton Walker proposal, the jury stated it created links between the square, Darcy St and the Parramatta Station concourse, extending open public space over the two levels, adding, “The rectilinear towers hover high above the new open space, which is a grand gesture to Parramatta Square.”

    The design by Johnson Pilton Walker.

    Bates Smart’s proposal was praised as it “proposes a differentiated active podium that addresses Parramatta Square, activating it with a mix of retail uses. Two rectilinear towers with deep recesses form a backdrop rather than an iconic gesture”.

    The design by Bates Smart.

    The jury commented on the Mario Cucinella Architects proposal, saying, “This environmentally-focused scheme proposes a pair of conical towers whose surface is animated by a breathable photovoltaic system. The roof plane features sculptural wind turbines signalling the sustainable emphasis of this design.”

    The design by Mario Cucinella Architects of Italy.

    These four teams will now compete in a design excellence competition which closes on 6 December. Each team receives $30,000 on submission of a complying scheme. The Parramatta City Council will announce the winning design by the end of the year.

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