The river and the adjoining parks form the recreational space of Parramatta. We saw the site as a ‘front door’ to whole Parramatta riverfront as well as the ‘front door’ to the museum precinct.
Clues to the future are laid bare in the planning controls. The greyscale gradient represents the future height of buildings and in turn density of people working and living in Parramatta.
The northern elevation of the city is set to become the face of Parramatta. The project is an opportunity to strengthen the city’s relationship to the river with the new museum as the centrepiece.
The proposal is a 3-part composition. A tower block reinforces the city edge while two lower-scaled buildings sit within the river corridor.
In the fullness of time, the density of the city will reduce access to sky and daylight, intensifying the sense of release at the river. Our proposal seeks to strengthen this experience.
Instead of a single building, we propose a porous precinct of three buildings with the public realm as the museum lobby.
Parramatta has potential for dual north facing riverfront promenade. Upper one for everyday users of the city with prospect over the river. Lower one to take respite from the city and engage with the water.
What is a museum? How has this evolved over time? In this evolving context, we looked to intertwine the museum with the city.
An overview of the spatial arrangement.
The proposal ‘overlaps’ museum programme with city function on the ground floor to drive visitation and activation, day and night, weekdays and weekends.
The mis-alignment and erosion of the river promenade aims to slow down the pedestrian flow, creating a public eddy at the River Square. The River Square with waterplay and civic water elements is an attraction for the whole community.
The rotation and sculpting of the buildings together with careful placement of public seating areas maximise thermal comfort in the Precinct.
View from Riverside Theatre.
We propose clusters of presentation space types allowing for some diversity whilst providing consistency within the group for programming flexibility.
Dynamic programming requires extensive and well-functioning back-of-house facilities to enable a high level of concurrent exhibition activity, while accommodating exhibition bump in/out without interrupting public facing activity.
PS1 is located in the most prominent part of the site. With its dual connection to the upper city level public realm as well to the riverfront, it belongs to the Powerhouse as well as the whole riverfront.
PS1 is a space that is defined by ‘light’.
Daylight is infinitely adaptable in PS1. Central ceiling grid bring in top light and perimeter clerestory bring side light through the inner mesh wall. Combined, daylight can be shaped to suit curatorial intent.
Section through Presentation Space 1 and 2.
Presentation Space 6 – theatre space for talks, music and performance.
Presentation Spaces 3, 4 and 5 – multi purpose spaces with high flexibility.
Powerlab Kitchen - mid tower garden level with views over Parramatta.
Powerlab Studio – co-working space for powerhouse staff, researchers, and artist in residence.
Powerlab Residencies - researcher / artist residences and communal courtyard.
In addition to the founding principles, the artistic collaboration with Reko permeates across the whole project.
A unified expression is applied across the precinct, reinforcing larger sculptural cuts to form more expressive moments within the composition. The facade varies to reinforce natural way-finding and reveal the spatial use within.
A systems-based approach to the façade using bespoke components - combining unique expression with construction efficiency.
GRC exo-skeleton to the outer facade provides depth, light and shadow. Embedded geometric pattern inlay a second layer of texture.
Geometric paving and related seating elements together with ‘eel’ sculptural play element on the water terrace animate the public realm.
Public seating is strategically placed to invite visitors to pause and interact with various offerings on site.
Art integration to PS6 draws attention to the concierge.