Powerhouse Parramatta is designed so that the superstructure is a celebrated architectural feature that is used to articulate the building facades. The buildings are designed with three scales of steel lattices as an exoskeleton to the buildings that provide column free large volume spaces.
In their competition scheme, Moreau Kusunoki (Lead Designer) and Genton (Local Architect) conceived Powerhouse Parramatta as a building with many functions and limitless potential. Their concept for the exoskeleton enabled the built form to tread lightly on the site, creating a porous ground plane that opens up the architecture as a gateway between the city and the river.
Moreau Kusunoki’s concept envisaged each element of the exoskeleton to have a unifying pattern that could be observed both up close and when viewing the building from afar. These sketches made in June 2020 show the working process of Arup Senior Structural Engineer Kengo Takamatsu as he develops the exoskeleton pattern and geometry that was designed by Moreau Kusunoki. Takamatsu’s drawings illustrate how tension and compression are manipulated with traditional truss components such as chords and nodes while enablingthe X, V and N patterns in the steel at both a large and small scale, as developed by Moreau Kusunoki.
On Monday 31 October 2022, Moreau Kusunoki (Lead Designer) and Genton (Local Architect), a representative of the Design Integrity Panel and the project team reviewed the prototype of Powerhouse Parramatta’s exterior structural frame, known as the exoskeleton, as well as the proposed glazed facade.
At approximately 7m high x 4m wide x 5m deep, review of the prototype is a key process to finalise the design development to be incorporated into the completed exoskeleton and the façade. The design and project teams will continue to test and validate the design solutions associated with steel, concrete and façade interfaces over the next months.
Powerhouse Parramatta Exoskeleton Prototype
As the first NSW State cultural institution to be based in Western Sydney, Powerhouse Parramatta will increase access to culture for all and reflect the diverse communities of Greater Sydney. View gallery of architectural plans. Photos: Zan Wimberley