An ambitious mixed-used development aiming to revitalize an area of Parramatta colloquially known as “Auto Alley” has been given the green light by the Sydney West Planning Panel.
The latest in a bevy of large-scale projects transforming western Sydney, the AUD$800 million (USD$645 million) project, to be known as South Quarter, will widen the footprint of the city’s development boom, which has so far been largely contained within its centre.
Designed by architecture firms Allen Jack and Cottier and Turner and landscape architecture practice Oculus, who together won a design competition for the project in 2014, the development will sit across three amalgamated sites: 57, 63 and 83 Church Street.
It will comprise three residential towers of between 23 and 43 stories, with retail and commercial uses on the lower levels; two 10-story commercial buildings fronting Church street; a 4.5 star hotel; approximately 3,000 square meters of public open space; a 2,000 square meter public park; and parking for around 1,200 cars.
According to a design statement from Allen Jack and Cottier, the precinct has been designed to “symbolize Parramatta’s unique location, culture, and character.”
The northern residential tower’s façade has been designed to offer views of the Sydney skyline and the Blue Mountains, and to express Parramatta’s location at the “meeting of the waters,” where the fresh river water meets the waters of Sydney Harbour.
The pattern and color of the glass will change from top to bottom: the vertical, light colored glazing at the top will darken in color and steadily increase in wave pitch towards the bottom of the tower, representing the deeper, rougher waters of the harbor and ocean beyond.
The middle tower will be angled and shaped to allow sunlight into the pedestrian plaza and park in the middle of the day, and will feature sweeping balconies expressing the sandstone geology that is to be found in the materials of Parramatta’s historic buildings.
A podium linking the two residential towers will feature outdoor areas on top, with landscaping, a pool, and a spa, while a broad colonnaded pedestrian plaza lined with shops, cafés, and eateries will connect the site from the corner of Church Street to the new park.
The South Quarter project is slated to welcome residents by 2022.
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