Grimshaw's architectural plan for the 90-floor Aspire Tower in Parramatta appear to be destined for the dust bin following the launch of a new design competition for one of the proposed centrepiece skyscrapers of Sydney's new CBD.
Parramatta City Council held the first design competition for the project back in 2013, anticipating the removal of height restrictions that would pave the way for the construction of high-rise buildings in the western Sydney business hub and abet its transformation into a second CBD.
Grimshaw emerged as the winner of the competition, with a bold design for a 366-metre tall mixed-use modular skyscraper that would host the southern hemisphere’s highest viewing platform open to the public.
Walker Corporation, the company chosen to develop some of the landmark skyscrapers scheduled for construction in Parramatta Square, has since decided to revamp the project, dumping Grimshaw’s winning proposal and relaunching the tower design competition.
According to Walker the essential parameters of the project will remain unchanged, with the competition calling for the design of 90-storey residential tower at the centre of the Parramatta Square development. The final value of the tower is expected to be over half a billion Australian dollars, and upon completion will be the largest residential high-rise building in the state of NSW.
The competition is scheduled to close on February 22, 2016, with Bates Smart, Fender Katsalidis, DBI Design and PTW Architect all making the shortlist following the submission of designs from architecture firms based in both Australia and abroad.
While Parramatta is intent upon transforming itself into Sydney’s second CBD with the $2 billion redevelopment of its main square, the introduction of skyscrapers to the city’s far west still isn’t a sure thing.
Walker still needs the approval of the Federal Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before it can proceed with THE proposed 90-storey project. While the NSW government lent its support to an increase in the local building height limit to 500 metres last year, aviation authorities have expressed concerns that skyscrapers in the area could be disruptive to landing and take-off corridors.
Walker expect to submit a Development Application by the middle of this year for a 70 storey tower, following by a second stage application for a 90 storey structure after engaging in discussions with CASA.