Parramatta City Council has chosen a team of four internationally renowned design firms to create a world-class public area as part of the Parramatta Square urban renewal project.
More than 20,000sqm of public space will be transformed including 10,000sqm for a large central square spanning 250 metres in length from Smith Street to St John’s Anglican Cathedral.
Award-winning firms James Mather Delaney Design (JMD), Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG) and Gehl Architects, Denmark, have won acclaim for their work both locally and overseas, including projects in New Zealand, the UK and New York’s Time Square and Broadway.
Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Scott Lloyd says the vision for the $35 million project is to create a world-class public domain that becomes the heart of the City.
“The design team we have selected have local, national and international expertise, and a strong track record for delivering high quality, innovative public spaces. Our vision is to create a Square that is inclusive, animated, inspiring and fun – and that is what we will have right here in the heart of our CBD,” Cr Lloyd said.
“As part of the $2 billion Parramatta Square project we have a unique opportunity to create a public space that is vibrant and truly representative of a great city. It will be a visually impressive area with a focus on workers and students on weekdays and community events on weekends.
“We want the Square to be activated and bustling for at least 18 hours every day. It will be an outdoor space for city residents, a place for office workers to mingle and enjoy lunch, a forecourt and public space for students, a community gathering space and an exciting entertainment area for events and festivals.”
Anton James from JMD Design said the four companies have overlapping experience in landscape architecture, urban design and architecture and will be working together to share ideas and realise an exciting, modern Square.
“It is an incredible privilege and responsibility to be given the opportunity to help remake the heart of a city and to translate the immense potential, optimism and richness of western Sydney into a public open space that contributes to the life of its inhabitants and provides a future legacy,” Mr James said.
All firms in the design team are Australian, with the exception of Gehl Architects, which is based in Copenhagen with studios in San Francisco and New York. Gehl Architects have a 22-year relationship with Australia through their work for several Australian cities. JMD and TZG are based in Sydney, while TCL are based in Melbourne and Adelaide.
The team has previously worked together on a number of notable projects including the Paddington Reservoir Gardens in Sydney, The National Arboretum in Canberra and Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga in Adelaide.
They have also completed several international projects in their own right. Gehl Architects was responsible for the 2007-09 transformation of Times Square and Broadway in New York City and the Brighton New Road project in the UK, and TCL designed the Wynyard Point project in Auckland.
JMD has previous experience in Parramatta, transforming the Church St Mall into Centenary Square.
The design team will also include Melbourne artist Callum Morton, who will oversee the public art masterplan for the new public domain. Callum is also Professor of Fine Art at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) in Melbourne, and has exhibited his work internationally including as one of the Australian representative artists at the Venice Biennale in 2007.
The public domain project will be completed in stages to ensure coordination with the construction projects in Parramatta Square including the University of Western Sydney high-rise campus, new civic and library facilities and commercial and high-end office buildings.
After stakeholder and community consultation, the multi-disciplinary team will prepare options for the design of the public space which will then be presented to Council for approval.
Cr Lloyd said Council is also committed to cementing Parramatta’s future as a ‘smart city’ with the creation of a Technology Masterplan for Parramatta Square. Council will work with UWS and other key tenants on the Square to meet their long term technology needs and Council’s own plans for a ‘library of the future’ and new Chambers and civic buildings.