Futuristic Tower Wins Parramatta Competition

A soaring futuristic 83-storey mixed-use tower, designed by Spanish architect Rafael De La-Hoz in partnership with Sydney award winning architects Group GSA, has won an international Design Excellence competition for a key city centre site at the corner of Macquarie St and Church St, Parramatta.

The competition involved four international architects each teamed with a Sydney architectural firm. The developers of the site are Holdmark Property Group, a company well known for producing high quality residential and mixed-use buildings.

The design brief called for innovative design solutions that achieve exceptional quality buildings and spaces within the city centre. Gavin Carrier, Holdmark’s Head of Development, said “Holdmark have worked very hard to assemble four teams of world- class architects to design outstanding solutions that comply with the strict competition process required by the Council of Parramatta City. We would like to thank the Council as well as the three independent competition judges for their co-operation and support during the competition process.”

“It is important that the community understands that this is the beginning of the planning process and that the project will require a Gateway determination from the Department of Planning and Environment and then a Development Application approval. Council’s formal endorsement of the competition outcome will also be required as per the Director Generals Design Excellence Guidelines. We are also aware of differing interpretations of overshadowing of some portions of Parramatta Square and we are keen to resolve this with the relevant stakeholders,” said Mr Carrier

The winning architects are Rafael De La-Hoz and Group GSA who have designed the building with “an envelope that has been inspired by the Eucalyptus bark: a series of oval geometries staggered in the façade is designed to provide the best views for its occupant. The elegant, fine-grained monumentality reflects Parramatta’s civic and natural history to become the architectural benchmark for new development in the city centre” said Rafael de la Hoz Architects.

The winning design also encompasses key components of the existing building on the site as the “original Murray Brothers façade is retained above the ground floor to define the new public space, opening up the ground floor for the public to circulate freely. A transparent ETFE roof provides shelter while allowing sunlight to percolate through to the foot of the towers. The design further enhances Parramatta public spaces by extending Centenary Square to embrace the base of the Eucalyptus design tower” said Group GSA.

The winning design comprises:

Holdmark fully supports the aspirations of Parramatta to be the dual CBD with Sydney CBD and this underpins their commitment to a building of international standing. Further Mr Carrier commented that Holdmark is very proud of the result which in in their opinion captures the spirit of Parramatta as a modern city of global status that also embraces its heritage.

Note: The Design Excellence Competition for 197 Church Street Parramatta and the resultant report of the Jury relate to a Planning Proposal which is yet to receive Gateway determination by DoPE. The Gateway determination may include conditions which could affect the winning design for the site. Accordingly the Jury decision is being released noting that the winning design may require adjustment as a result of the future Gateway determination.

For any further media enquiries please contact:

Miss Kristy-Ann Nassif – Holdmark Property Group – 02 9889 5540