Parramatta’s design-led urban renewal has reached another milestone with the completion of the $320 million commercial building, 32 Smith Street.
May 5th, 2022
Since 2017 Parramatta has been undergoing a rejuvenation process with a $2 billion urban renewal project at Parramatta Square. Encompassing new chambers for Parramatta City Council as well as a public library, and four commercial office buildings, the project has been reported to support and create over 4000 new jobs.
Now its biggest milestone to date has been revealed: Designed by Fender Katsalidis and owned by The GPT Group, the commercial building on 32 Smith Street is a sculptural, 27,200-square-metre office tower.
The $325 million commercial office draws its design inspiration from the nearby Parramatta River. Featuring landscaping, external roof terraces, balconies and a publicly accessible urban room, the building has already established itself as a key landmark within the wider Paramatta redevelopment.
“We are extremely proud of this important gateway building for the revitalised city of Parramatta, which delivers a world-class workplace environment through its urban, sustainability and design philosophy-based solutions,” says Fender Katsalidis associate director, Danny Mandrovski.
Inspired by the environment around Parramatta, the office tower’s materiality takes its cues from the adjacent riverbank. Here, base materials of concrete, iron, glass and bronze detailing reflect its connections to the land.
Shaped like a “building in the round”, the design skirts between evocative sights and pragmatic solutions. With its curved form reducing glare and wind, the building has an iconic glass atrium with glazed lifts to the southern facade, letting in natural light and offering 360-degree views for occupants. Even the amenities and service spaces have beautiful outlooks and charming light wells with a floor plan designed specially to absorb the views.
The cutting-edge Fender Katsalidis design was selected as the winning scheme in the Parramatta City Council Design Competition in 2017. As Mandrovski says, the opportunity provided the Fender Katsalidis architectural team with the “opportunity to explore and develop a unique design outcome for this particular gateway site which wouldn’t have been achievable by following traditional planning rules.”
Collaborations with sculptor Jamie North and the Traditional Owners of the land, the Darug people, have delivered a welcoming heritage interpretation embedded into the fabric of the building. This includes a public art component, such as sculptures positioned at the building’s entrance to celebrate the Indigenous Australian flora and fauna.
“Collaborating with the local Indigenous community to celebrate the Darug people’s culture and connection to this important place has been an enjoyable and intrinsic part of the design process,” comments Mandrovski.
With a distinct connection between nature and the future of the workplace, Fender Katsalidis’ design of 32 Smith Street has become an impactful milestone for the Parramatta community.
“We are excited about the extension of the public domain which celebrates the corner of this gateway site and provides a generous and enjoyable contribution back to the community,” says Mandrovski.
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