A cylindrical brick building designed by local architecture firm Durbach Block Jaggers has been selected by Parramatta Mission as the winning concept for their new community centre in the heart of the new CBD.
The community building will house Parramatta Mission’s staff, be a centre for its social services and serve as a place of meeting for the broader community.
The new meeting place will replace an existing three-storey office building and, once realised, is intended for the land’s traditional owners, the Burramattagal people of the Darug nation.
Parramatta Mission board member Ian Gray said the winning design recognised the importance of this site to the traditional owners with evidence of Aboriginal settlement dating back more than 60,000 years in the area around Parramatta Square.
“The Uniting Church is working in partnership with the Parramatta council in order to reach an agreed position that recognises the loss of development potential of the site,” Gray said.
“Construction of this iconic community building can then commence as soon as possible.”
Gray said further detailed design work may be required and it was intended to proceed directly to prepare a development application once the design was finalised.
“We welcome the lodgement of the development application for this building in the near future and look forward to seeing this important community facility becoming a reality,” Parramatta lord mayor Steven Issa said.
The building will sit alongside the historic Leigh Memorial Church. The church, built in 1885, is on Macquarie Street at the fringe of the intensive development area concentrated on Parramatta Square.
Both buildings will be on Parramatta’s Civic Link—a new green, pedestrianised pathway to the Parramatta CBD with the river.
Behind the proposed community building one of the largest urban renewal projects—Walker Corporation’s $3.2-billion Parramatta Square development, is rapidly taking shape.
The redevelopment, on a 3ha site, includes four towers offering premium-grade office space, a multi-level retail podium and civic buildings, as well as a university campus and town hall as part of the wider precinct.