Parramatta City Council engaged Lymesmith to make proposals for the temporary upgrade of 7 buildings along D’Arcy St. The buildings’ scheduled demolition has been indefinitely postponed (due to the GFC) and the buildings were becoming dilapidated. In addition, some tenants vacated due to the uncertainty of their tenure, which exacerbated the run down appearance of the street. Council’s brief required low cost proposals to maintain the civic standards appropriate for this prominent city gateway adjacent to the Parramatta Transport Interchange. Particular focus was on strategies to activate the street. Lymesmith invited landscape architect Katy Svalbe of Amber Road Design, and graphic designer Emma Davidson of Unconundrum to collaborate on the D’Arcy St proposals.
Stage one has seen the rear lane completely de-cluttered and repainted, some new landscape proposals have been implemented. Tenant parking has been streamlined and new moveable ‘tree tenants’ are proposed. The laneway has already attracted new uses with a vibrant laneway cafe and night time laneway food and music events. Artists interventions and experiments are developing in gaps between the buildings. PopUp Parramatta has given low cost studio and retail space to artists and new businesses.
Stage 2 will be completed in 2013, the shop facades will be completed repainted, the old awnings are to be removed (due to safety concerns) and replaced with bright, retractable canvas blinds. New painted signage will be installed to each shop, and the whole street will present a unified, quirky and polychromatic face to the city.
An earlier version of the shop front proposal for Darcy St. This scheme has been shelved as it has become necessary to remove the awnings due to structural problems.