A design that draws its inspiration from the nearby Parramatta River has been selected for GPT Group’s planned 26,000 square metre office tower at 32 Smith Street Parramatta.
A Parramatta City Council Design Competition jury has chosen the design by Fender Katsalidis, which will feature a ground level ‘urban room’ event space, an elevated podium terrace facing the Parramatta River and a tree covered sky deck with panoramic views.
GPT’s Head of Office and Logistics Matthew Faddy said the Fender Katsalidis design will set a new benchmark for office buildings in Parramatta.
“32 Smith Street will be one of Parramatta’s standout landmarks and will support the City of Parramatta’s vision to transform the CBD into a world-class commercial and cultural centre,” said Mr Faddy.
“The quality and detail associated with each of the four entries for the competition was exceptional and GPT would have been proud to deliver any of these designs.”
Principal at Fender Katsalidis Mark Curzon said: “We are incredibly proud to have won this important design competition. This amazing project will redefine office design in Parramatta, setting a new benchmark for workplace design, sustainability and public benefit, in a beautiful way.”
The Fender Katsalidis design will open the ground plane of the building through the construction of two round pebble-like podiums set back from the street. The footpaths around the building will be widened to improve pedestrian access and the surrounding laneways will be activated with retail and bicycle facilities.
The 32 Smith Street car park will be located above ground on Levels 3 to 5 to maximise the ground level activation of the building. The design will include glass lift shafts and glass facades to improve the visual connection from the building to the river and surrounding streets.
Director of Fender Katsalidis Rob Mirams said: “We have been working in Parramatta for some time and it is great news that GPT has the foresight to commit to a project of design excellence for this important site.”
GPT is excited as it progresses towards lodgement of the development application. Tenant engagement has been strong and now with design certainty seeking a pre-commitment will be a key focus.
Construction on 32 Smith Street is planned to commence by mid-2018 with project completion in 2020.
The Property Council of Australia’s latest Office Market Report shows Parramatta continues to be one of the country’s best performing office markets, particularly for higher grade space.
For the first six months of 2017, the Property Council report showed there was a zero vacancy rate for A Grade office space in Parramatta and that the total vacancy rate for office space was 4.3 per cent. This compares to the 5.9 per cent vacancy rate in the Sydney CBD.
Mr Faddy said the significant transformation of the Parramatta office market was being fuelled by the rapid population growth in Western Sydney, the significant infrastructure investment in the area and improved amenity offered by the Parramatta CBD.
“These factors make Parramatta a compelling location for major corporate tenants,” said Mr Faddy.