How A Community Drove The Parramatta Square Redesign

As a result of community feedback , City of Parramatta has released an updated concept design for the public domain at the heart of its $2 billion Parramatta Square CBD urban renewal project.

The enhanced plans, now on public exhibition, include an interactive ‘digital carpet’, grassed terraces, smart shading structures, a grove of historic Cabbage Tree Palms, and billabong-like water features.

The re-calibrated plans are the result of an extensive community consultation process undertaken in October 2015 in which residents and stakeholders provided valuable feedback on a Draft Concept Design.

That feedback, along with considerable milestones in the design and planning of Parramatta Square, has helped shape the Enhanced Concept Design that is now available for public comment.

“In the 12 months since releasing the Draft Concept Design, Council has had much more information to incorporate, including community feedback and key milestones in Parramatta Square making it possible to provide a more meaningful approach that took all buildings in the space into account,” City of Parramatta Council Administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

Parramatta Square

“The community have told us they want flexible places to meet and relax, the provision of public art, and spaces for entertainment and events.

“Within a year we’ve finalised international design competitions for five buildings on Parramatta Square and also adopted a Technology Masterplan for the precinct.

“Now that we know what all of the buildings in Parramatta Square will look like – including Council’s landmark civic and community building – it was important for us to revisit the Draft Concept Design to ensure the Public Domain meets the needs of residents, workers commuters and visitors to our City, as well as Council’s vision for a preeminent civic and ceremonial space fit for public events.

“This Enhanced Concept Design complements the world-class architecture of Parramatta Square and ensures there is connectivity between the buildings and Public Domain.

“It’s important for the community to know that its feedback on the Draft Concept Design has helped us get to this significant step and I encourage everyone to again have their say as we look to build a first-class precinct in Parramatta Square.”

Parramatta Square

The Enhanced Concept includes the following design features

  • A ‘digital carpet’ paving treatment that will not only demonstrate Smart City initiatives but also be a beacon for visitors attracted to the innovative feature at the entrance to Council’s landmark civic and community building at 5 Parramatta Square.
  • The digital carpet can be designed to be interactive and can incorporate:
    • Innovative paving design to generate sound and power
    • Spectacular lighting displays
    • Public art installations
    • Holograms
  • A series of ‘billabongs’ (water pools) at 5 Parramatta Square that can be turned on and off as required to not only encourage kids’ play but also react to the heat of the day as a cooling mechanism.
  • A grove of Cabbage Tree Palms with “Smart” shading structures and seating (both fixed and removable) under the tree canopy. These “Smart” structures can incorporate digital art, cooling mechanisms and solar-powered USB charging.
  • Grassed terracing to Church Street at 8 Parramatta Square, also known as Aspire Tower, and grassed zones near 4 and 6 Parramatta Square.
  • Flexible spaces for people to meet, relax, picnic or dine.
  • Logical pathways for commuters, workers and students passing through Parramatta 
Square.
  • Event spaces to stage markets, citizenship ceremonies, key celebrations, graduation ceremonies, festivals and recognition events.
  • Art and design features to respect the unique Aboriginal and Colonial heritage of the area.

The forecast $36.5 million budget for the Public Domain will be funded by the development of Parramatta Square, at no cost to ratepayers.

The concept design was created by ’42’ – a design team including firms James Mather Delaney Design, Taylor Cullity Lethlean , Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Gehl Architects, Denmark.

Residents can view the Parramatta Square Public Domain Enhanced Concept Design at the City of Parramatta Council Library, branch libraries and at the Customer Service Desk at 126 Church Street, Parramatta.

The document can also be viewed online at www.parracity.nsw.gov.au, with the exhibition period running from Wednesday 14 September to Wednesday 12 October.