PARRAMATTA GEMINI TOWERS
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The Gemini Building is conceived as a typological hybrid– a graft between two towers and slab building– as a way of responding to the particular opportunities of the project, whether from the vantage-point of program, urbanism or optimization. At its base, the buildings step delicately among the commuters, residents, and shoppers – offering retail and community space. At midlevel, the Gemini raises its cloak for a public sky lobby with restaurants and lounge. At the top, the roofscapes split for a discrete garden and Belvedere, enabling views of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and greater Parramatta. The siting of the building within the landscape of the plaza is perhaps its greatest asset and the driver of its architectural form.
At its base, a passage connects the square to the train station, by way of a monumental arcade. Perimeter retail around the buildings provides services to residents, and activating the ground plane. The lobby of the Gemini is minimized in one leg of the base, serving only the basic security and hospitality functions necessary for the upper floors. The real occupants of the ground plane are those programs that inspire activity and commerce, and thus the building lifts its skirts to facilitate numerous links among the pedestrian paths.
While not the tallest building in the district, the jaunty profile seeks to stand out among the surrounding developments, serving as an icon on the skyline. Visual accessibility is as important on floor 16 as it is at grade; high ceilings and clear views attract customers for food and retail. Other sky lobby program might include meeting rooms, a business center, or auditoria. Such public space at the midlevel and on the roof raises the tower’s engagement with the city, affording a range of experience from the privacy of roof garden to the generous vistas below. To that end the goal of the proposed building is to succeed both within the landscape and at the scale of the skyline, providing an iconographic silhouette appropriate global commerce.
Principals In Charge: Nader Tehrani, Katherine Faulkner
Project Coordinator: John Houser
Project Team: Arthur Chang, Dane Asmussen, James Juricevich, Wesley Hiatt
Local Architect: BDA Architecture