Parramatta has Venitian dreams

Parramatta has Venitian dreams
Parramatta has Venitian dreams

“Venice-like” islands, laneway jetties and rooftop gardens are some of the architectural features that could one day grace the Parramatta River foreshore, the commercial, government and retail hub of greater western Sydney.

These were the concepts contained in the winning “Ideas on Edge” entries selected by judges as part of the Parramatta Council’s plans to develop a 2.2-hectare site between The Lennox and Bernie Banton bridges on the Parramatta River.

The development zone is connected to transport, shopping facilities and Parramatta’s dining precinct, “Eat Street” (Church Street in the CBD).

One of the judges, Sydney architect and executive chairman of Hassell Ken Maher, says the top three winners demonstrated an ability to capture the city’s relationship with the river.

Parramatta Islands”, for instance, takes advantage of Parramatta’s waterfront access by proposing opening up the area to business, culture and social life, based on similar principles adopted in the cities of Venice, Amsterdam and Suzhou.

Another winning submission “Vertical Farming and Laneway Jetties was recognised for its ability to reduce transport costs.

“The ‘Innovation Ecosystem” submission was chosen as a winner after the judges found that “it brings nature and commerce together and encompasses mixed-use development, including housing, an aged-care facility and just about everything you can think of”.

Parramatta Council will now take on board all of the ideas submitted when creating a functional brief for the site. The council will also consider the long-term master planning of the whole site.

Expression of interest will be accepted later this year.

A $70,000 prize pool will be distributed to the three winning entries, which came from Sydney, Brisbane and Arkansas, in the US.

The competition received 160 submissions from architects, designers, artists and students from all over the world including the United Arab Emirates, China, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the US.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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