The new Paramatta Civic Centre has moved closer to realisation with a reworked design of the façade system, which is now in development application. DesignInc, in collaboration with Sydney-based Lacoste + Stevenson and Paris-based Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, won the international competition for Parramatta Civic Centre in 2016, with the building scheduled to open in 2022.
The winning design featured a transparent, crystalline façade, which has been refined in the years since. “We describe the revised design as a tessellated façade,” says DesignInc Design Director Richard Does. “The panellised skylight and façade system is made up of insulated copper-coloured aluminium cladding with diamond-shaped windows creating a tessellated pattern across the building.” The façade has been refined to achieve a higher performing system, while delivering similar design principles of the original competition design.
The complex façade is a tessellated envelopment that extends from Parramatta Town Hall Auditorium across Paramatta Civic Centre in a futuristic wave. The building shape follows the sun’s trajectory and the tessellations are angled to become vertical at the northeast corner where they rise to create a civic spire. The folded shape of the façade allows most of the windows to face south east, minimising solar heat gain and glare and eliminating the need for external shading.
Photo credit: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, Designinc and Lacoste and Stevenson
The building expresses the notion of ‘civic permeability’ through physical and visual connections. Outside, it offers horizontal permeability with sightlines through the building, while inside, it offers vertical permeability through the facade. The façade of the building can also be animated with lighting effects to project art and to express the dynamic civic functions inside. “We’re emulating movement within the building form, creating a contextual volume that respects existing scale at the western extremity, but elsewhere reads as a mobile and dynamic shape, tracking the path of the sun,” Richard describes.
The interior of the Paramatta Civic Centre, which will provide a library, council chambers, community meeting rooms, roof garden and visitor experience centre, has also been rationalised to maximise floor space while still achieving spatial interest.
Paramatta Civic Centre is part of the major urban development of Parramatta CBD as City of Parramatta Council responds to and prepares for large-scale population and economic growth. The redevelopment of Parramatta Square is at the heart of the revitalisation project intended to transform the city into the commercial, civic, cultural and educational centre of Western Sydney, and it incorporates the construction of several other major buildings which are now well underway.