visionary transformation of the parramatta rd corridor

Sydney NSW, 2001

This ambitious urban-transformation project for Sydney was commissioned on the back of a major international design competition win. 

Our team joined a consortium of architects, landscape architects, transport planners and land economists including CHROFI, McGregor + Partners and Stanisic Associates for the initial design competition.

The “Missed Opportunities” entry submitted by our team condensed an eight-panel presentation of research, drawings and diagrams down into a compact coffee-table booklet. We then used the lexicon of the road – a giant billboard, equivalent to the eight-panel submission requirement – to get our key message across. Parramatta Road was a MISSED OPPORTUNITY for Sydney.

The contextual area for the plan is bounded by the Parramatta River, the Great Western Rail Line, and the two central business districts Parramatta and Sydney. The Parramatta Road Strategic Plan presents a strategic vision with the aim of improving social, environmental, and economic conditions along the corridor. A series of reflective and somewhat provocative questions raised within the document provide a lens through which the project team envision massive change.

How much does existing loss of amenity cost the residents of the area?
How much have small retailers paid for their loss of business?
The ecology of an entire region. How much does that cost?
The indigenous peoples of the area and their descendants have surely paid the highest price of all. Who could ever repay them?
Can Sydney be more than the harbour?

The Parramatta Road Strategic Plan was structured around urban, environmental, cultural and economic strategies that were superimposed and integrated along the corridor. Six precincts were then established, existing conditions interrogated and precinct-specific strategies established in response to local opportunities. Design proposal strategies were then developed as a demonstration for three large-scaled demonstration sites in the corridor.

The Parramatta Road Strategic Plan received widespread support as captured in the following acknowledgements:

The Committee is very impressed with the proposed SydneyCentral concept for Parramatta Road. The creation of a new focus for transport friendly urban development along the Parramatta Road corridor offers an opportunity to accommodate a large portion of Sydney’s future growth in a highly accessible location. – Nick Juradowitch, Chairperson, Royal Australian Planning Institute (NSW) Metropolitan and Environment Committee.

A visionary document that will redefine Sydney in the twenty-first century. – Regina Sonnabend, Co-ordinator Serve City Project, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Germany.

Client: IMROC, Planning NSW Services: Urban Design

Project Team: Adam Russell, Jason Fraser

Collaborators: CHROFIMcGregor + PartnersStanisic Associates, Hill PDA, The Revolution, TTM, King & Campbell