Phive is designed by Design Inc. and Lacoste and Stevenson, with Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. PHIVE Civic Center does not resemble the magnificent reading room with a domed ceiling, the private study hall, or even the public library envisioned by American architect H. H. Richardson. Instead, this structure serves as a stage for community life’s excitement and drama.
With a library, exhibition areas, the City of Parramatta’s Council Chamber, a discovery center, and an “Aboriginal Keeping Place” for regional indigenous artifacts, this multipurpose structure serves as a new community, cultural, and civic core.
The design is centered on this multidisciplinary program and is filled with creativity and thoughtfulness. The winter sun’s path sculpts the triangle shape, allowing the public area to receive sunlight all year long. The structure appears to be reaching into the skies thanks to the roof’s small curvature and transition from bright to muted colors at the summit of the new municipal tower.
The project’s use of color plays a significant role in drawing attention to the building and establishing its location in the Parramatta Central Business District as a fun and inviting public place. The local flora, including the native waratahs, banksias, and grevilleas, was an unexpected source of inspiration for the striking and timeless red hues. As a result, the building shines out compared to the surrounding towers’ neutral tones.
The ground level of PHIVE Civic Center is envisioned as a continuation of a typical Square: a multipurpose space for gathering, exhibiting, and exploring. It resembles a scarlet cocoon with bright green furniture sprinkled throughout the room. The tessellated envelope, which serves as both a roof and a façade, is constructed up of hundreds of folds that emphasize the distinctiveness of this public and cultural structure by opening vistas to the west and east, the square, and the sky in succession. In addition to protecting from heat and filters the views and light. A faint crimson light around the edge of the bright white interior surfaces reflects the lyrical nature of the roof inside.
The ground floor of PHIVE serves as a “vast foyer” and “urban living room” and is a fluid extension of the esplanade. Manuelle Gautrand has incorporated visitor services, the council’s customer services, a cafe, and event spaces here. A shared “super basement” with an exhibition-discovery center and a public amphitheater welcomes guests entering the basement parking level beneath this floor. Visitors can take the elevator up to the civic center’s several levels, where areas have been designated for solo work, small group work, and meetings.
Two spacious and adaptable community areas face the square on the third level. The council chambers are located on the upper level. The third-floor houses community rooms, including two huge flexible community areas overlooking the square. The top-level council chambers cantilever dramatically over the former Town Hall. This incredible engineering effort is a sight, underscoring the vital historical connection to the ancient Parramatta Town Hall. Phive is an innovative new civic area in the heart of Parramatta’s central business district. It provides a warm environment for residents and visitors to connect, research, remember, and shape the future of this thriving city.
Location: Parramatta, Australia
Architect: Design Inc. with Lacoste and Stevenson and Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
Project Team: Richard Does, Thierry Lacoste, Manuelle Gautrand, Richard Does, Ngoc Tran, Tom Fletcher, Violetta Boyd, Francesco Camillo, Andrii Grybovskyi
Access consultant: BCA Logic
Acoustic consultant: Acoustic Logic
Building surveyor: Craig and Rhodes
Civil engineer: Northrop Consulting Engineers
ESD consultant: AECOM, LCI
Electrical engineer: AECOM, Heyday 5
Facade engineer: Surface Design
Fire engineer: LCI
Flood consultant: Woolacotts Consulting Engineers
Heritage consultant: Urbis
Heritage interpretation: Lookear
Hydraulic consultant: AECOM, MGP
Kitchen design: The Mack Group
Landscape architect: DesignInc
Mechanical designer: SEED
PCA: McKenzie Group
Project management: City of Parramatta Council
Quantity Surveyor: WT Partnership
Specialist lighting: Ramus Illumination
Structural engineer: AECOM, Northrop Consulting Engineers
Traffic consultant: TTPP
Urban planning: Urbis
Waste consultant: Eccell
Wayfinding: The Buchan Group
Wind consultant: Windtech