Design Parramatta – Parramatta City Council
Work in Association:
The role of the city is to mediate between the desires of the individual and the rights of the collective.Michael Sorkin
To create a green spine that includes water, landscape, interesting adjoining uses and places to socialise and rest, whilst maintaining vehicular access to adjoining properties. The avenue will thematically connect Parramatta River through the city to Parramatta Square and the station.
The design reveals the flow of water through the site. Rain gardens are located at key areas of stormwater collection and extend beyond the kerb edge and into the public space, creating incidental garden ‘rooms’.
The design is for a generous 10m wide linear pedestrian footpath along the eastern side of the street, providing ease of movement and social places. At four locations, there would be groves of deciduous trees extending the full width of the street, creating pockets of sun and shade, protection and respite. A rain garden ‘threshold’ would extend across the avenue signalling the nearby river, where the street slopes down to Phillip Street. The rain gardens could be watered by stormwater runoff from adjoining Council car park rooftops collected through a tapestry of coloured pipes. New lighting and paving would reinforce pedestrian movement. The detailed design of materials and elements such as inlet kerbs, facetted gutter details and custom paving would make explicit the concealed patterns of the stormwater flow and collection.
Recognising that Horwood Avenue is a space in flux, the design changes the proposed building envelopes (to those currently proposed in the Development Control Plan) to ensure maximise solar access can reach the street during lunchtime hours. Closure of the southern vehicular entry to Horwood Place car park is suggested in the short-term to improve the exisiting pedestrian link through the car park. This can be achieved without undue impact on car park function, and would be a first step to creating the busy pedestrian area lined with retail tenancies envisaged in the long-term.
Concept: Collection & Pooling
The design provides many opportunities for gathering and meeting. There would be seating and small squares at the cross-locations of lanes and the avenue. Seating would also be located beneath tree groves. Garden beds and seating have been sited and scaled to encourage incidental gathering and meeting. Two options for seating were developed in more detail next to the blank western façade (facing Horwood Place) of the Roxy Theatre. One, a low-key approach, involves alternating planting with terraces and seating facing the street. The second more dramatic and theatrical solution creates a four metre high stepped ‘bleacher’ terrace facing north. The terrace would connect to a second higher terrace, (providing for future connection into the Roxy) and create a public ‘stage’. Beneath the terraces would be a small café/or bar with colourful lighting, creating a new destination under the red neon sign of the Roxy Theatre.