Parramatta Town Hall: A design fusion of history and modernity

Situated in the heart of Sydney, the restored Parramatta Town Hall stands as a testament to the seamless integration of historical reverence and contemporary flair.

Reopened 140 years after its original establishment in 1883, this iconic building continues to serve as a central gathering space for the community, embodying both its rich heritage and modern functionality.


The restoration project, developed in consultation with the City of Parramatta Council, was overseen by a collaborative team comprising DesignInc, Lacoste+Stevenson, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture (MGA), and TKD Architects. Their collective effort ensured a harmonious balance between preserving the site’s historical integrity and accommodating the demands of a modern entertainment venue.

Central to the vision of Parramatta Town Hall is its connection to PHIVE (Parramatta Civic Hub), a vibrant community, cultural, and civic hub within the bustling Parramatta Square. The Southern Terrace, a new addition completing Parramatta Square, serves as a versatile pre-event space and performance stage, seamlessly linking the historic Town Hall to the public square. This design approach encapsulates a deep understanding of the site’s past, acknowledging its significance to the Dharug Clans and other First Nations Peoples.

Addressing contemporary needs, the design incorporates state-of-the-art features for acoustics, audio-visual technology, air conditioning, smoke exhaust, fire protection, lift access, and upgraded facilities, all while preserving the original heritage fabric. The conversion of Jubilee Hall into food and beverage amenities activates the Northern Laneway, ensuring a holistic transformation of the site.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of the project, mirroring Parramatta’s collective shift towards environmental consciousness. The Town Hall is powered by 100% renewable energy, including a solar PV array on the Southern Terrace roof. Up to 90% of construction waste was repurposed, with heritage bricks and timber floors showcased throughout the building. Additionally, rainwater harvesting, dual pipework, and plans for connection to a recycled water scheme highlight the project’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Material choices, particularly in the new public spaces facing the Public Square, prioritize durability to ensure longevity in usage. This thoughtful selection encapsulates Parramatta Town Hall as a symbol of historic preservation and sustainable evolution, setting a benchmark for future restorations.

The next phase of development will see the implementation of heritage interpretation elements in the public forecourt, further enriching the site’s historical narrative. As Parramatta Town Hall continues to evolve, it remains a beacon of community, culture, and sustainability, bridging the past with the future.

Images by Brett Boardman via ArchDaily

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