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    French and Aussie consortium win Parramatta Square competition

    Nathan Johnson

    The winning design of an international design competition for Parramatta Square’s civic and community building has been revealed.

    The Design Excellence jury were unanimous in their decision to choose a project from a consortium that consisted of French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Australian firms Design Inc and Lacoste + Stevenson as the preferred design.

    The consortium fought off competition from internationally-recognised local architectural firms of Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW), Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), as well as a partnership between SJB and Lahznimmo Architects.

    Core to their design for a new Parramatta Council Chambers and ‘library of the future’ is a stack of transparent glass volumes that extend above the historic Town Hall and gradually rises to the northeast.

    The lower levels of the southern façade will be incorporate an LED screen for multimedia projections, which will be able to display images such as public art and event programs while the upper levels of the same façade will be used for projections of public art.

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    David Stevenson from Lacoste + Stevenson said the design team worked hard to ensure that public art was an essential component of the design.

    “The design team’s vision for public art at 5 Parramatta Square was to make Council’s civic facilities a canvas for artistic expression in a way we haven’t seen before in a public building in Australia,” Mr Stevenson said.

    “The building creates the opportunity to be transformed into an interactive public art display through shading devices that also serve as projection screens. This is truly a building for the 21st century.”

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    The $50 million project will cover six-storeys with a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of approximately 8000sqm

    Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Paul Garrard congratulated Manuelle Gautrand Architecture,

    DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson on producing a spectacular winning design.

    “This design truly cements 5 Parramatta Square as the civic heart of our City. The transparency of the glass façade makes the building inviting and open for the community to explore the library of the future, public roof garden, customer contact centre, visitor experience centre, community meeting rooms and technology hub,” he says.

    “All this is within a building that is designed to achieve at least a 5- Star Green Star rating.”

    The concept designs will undergo detailed analysis before a Development Application (DA) is lodged, which is expected to be by the end of 2016. The designs will be placed on public exhibition as part of the DA process.

    Images: Parramatta Council

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