Parramatta TowerParramatta NSW Australia
A competition for a 75-storey, mixed-used, multi-unit residential tower was conducted by Parramatta City Council. The challenge was to locate the tower in the heart of Parramatta, and to design such a high-rise building to incorporate environmentally and socially sustainable measures.
In a large-scale residential high-rise environment, communal meeting spaces are much-needed. They encourage community cohesion and provide places for people to meet, converse, play in safe surroundings, or just sit in the sun. We proposed community gardens located on every third level. Each garden space, to service 24 dwellings, would become a large court enabling recreation and social engagement.
These north-facing green spaces zipper the facade of the building. They double as bio-filters, enabling the tower to operate comfortably without traditional mechanical air conditioning. Inner-city air is cooled and cleaned; the difficult wind conditions encountered in high-rise buildings do not prevent these apartments from gaining fresh air. A ‘verandah’ at the ground floor, facing north, creates a public promenade shaded in summer and in winter open to the sun. Retail and food outlets generate street level activity.
Our competition scheme was unpremiated. But its propositions for high-rise, high-quality living environments remain inventive and viable.