Construction has officially begun on the long-planned $130 million civic building in Parramatta Square. The sustainably-focused cultural centre will target a 5-Star Green Star Design rating with features such as high thermal performance, energy-generating solar panels, and water harvesting, and re-use systems planned.
Australian company Built will construct the six-storey building after being selected by council in February to deliver the project following a 12-month process. The building was designed by French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and two local houses after taking out the contest for the design of the Parramatta Square building in March 2016.
Built is also constructing Walker Corporation’s 6 and 8 Parramatta Square, set to be the largest commercial building in Australia comprising 125,000 square metres, and has recently completed 3 and 4 Parramatta Square.
“Councillors first committed to the vision of a new civic building within a world-class commercial and cultural precinct in 1996 and we are incredibly proud to see their ambitious plan taking shape,” City of Parramatta lord mayor Bob Dwyer said.
“Parramatta Square is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects Australia has ever seen and 5 Parramatta Square will be the beating heart of this revitalised CBD precinct.”
The building will have a distinctive crystalline exterior once completed. It is also set to offer 8,000 sqm of civic space, along with a large multi-coloured digital facade for public art project projections. The city’s historic town hall will also be integrated into the new building.
Parramatta Square, a three-hectare mixed-use precinct in the heart of Parramatta CBD, is next to Parramatta train station with a future light rail stop planned on Macquarie Street.
The new civic building is considered the final stage of the development. Once complete it will join a number of completed (or soon to be complete) projects throughout the square, including 1 Parramatta Square, a high-rise Western Sydney University campus, the existing Sydney Water Corporate Headquarters, and 3 Parramatta Square, where NAB is establishing its headquarters.
The Parramatta Square development will also become home to 4,200 public servants after Walker Corporation won a Property NSW tender to lease up to 43,800sq m of office space in 2021.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic sparking an economic downturn, construction has continued as usual at Parramatta Square. The building is expected to open in April 2022 in line with the remaining Parramatta Square precinct.