Riverside Theaters by Cox and 3XN has an expressive design

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Riverside Theaters with trees and greenery designed by COX and 3XN

Cox Architecture with 3XN Architects has won the international design competition for Riverside Theaters. According to Abbie Galvin LFRAIA, NSW Government Architect and Chair of the Design Excellence Jury, the building features an expressive design with a dynamic form that twists, shapes and modulates to respond to the river and welcome the community.

The new design aims to make the Riverside Theaters the cornerstone of the burgeoning cultural presence within Central River City, Sydney. Joe Agius, Director of COX, said: “The reimagined Riverside Theatres will be a major uplift in the cultural capacity for Parramatta. Guided by a commitment to the location’s First Nations origin and sense of place, our goal was for our design to respond sensitively to both the natural beauty of the river and the site’s city context. Our creative collaborators are honored to be part of this transformative project for the City of Parramatta.” about the project on behalf of the team.

Riverside Theaters by COX and 3XN

The winning design features a new 1,500-seat theater, a smaller 424-seat studio theater, and an 80-seat cinema. It also refurbishes the existing playhouse into a 760-seat venue. The riverfront will be revitalized to feature a lively bar and café, enhanced walkways, and new native landscaping. Fred Holt, Director of 3XN Architects, said, “The unique contextual response of the design lends itself to a distinct architectural expression and opportunity to create a building that is welcoming, porous, and permeable – framed with gateways of invitation and performative possibility,” about the conceptual design of the project.

The new design also prioritizes sustainability with a goal of achieving a 5-star Green Star rating. The project embraces reusing existing building materials to minimize environmental impact and aims to remediate and restore the Parramatta landscape and riverbank ecologies to promote thriving and diverse natural ecosystems.

The Riverside Theaters aspire to become a world-class performing arts center featuring state-of-the-art facilities once completed. The expansion also includes enhancing public spaces, doubling its capacity, and increasing the city’s nighttime economy and visitor numbers.

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