Z-Axis | Vertical farming and lane way jetties

This project proposal was a collaboration with Josh Spillane and Leon McBride of GlowRENDER. We were one of three winning entries selected by the judging panel for the Ideas on Edge, international competition to revitalise the Parramatta river edge in western Sydney.

Design Notes

– Sydney’s growth is constrained by national parks to the

north and south, the Blue Mountains to the west and the

ocean to the east. In planning a sustainable (social,

environmental, economic) future for Sydney it is imperative

that the Z – axis (going up) is considered.

– Sustainable provision of food to the Parramatta community.

Reducing the carbon footprint by eliminating transport

costs in both directions, while delivering the freshest of

produce. The food is grown where the people are, by the

Parramatta community and in the heart of the Parramatta


– The proposal provides a focus for activation along the river

edge with markets, public gathering spaces, boat hire and a

counterpoint to the cultural activation of the theatre.

– Connecting the precincts of Parramatta and public

transport to the site using laneway strategies (existing and

proposed) to improve urban fabric permeability.

– Incorporation of residential space into the site offers a

human presence and natural surveillance that works to

deter crime and provide a critical mass for site activation

– Multiple options for farm management: Community run,

retiree, unemployed as a core resource for education,

retraining and healthy physical activity. The council can

lease all or part (community plots) of the farm site, sell or

keep it as a valuable resource in providing a sustainable


– Retail tenancies are available for sale or lease

– The possibility for future growth in the scheme – additional

towers at laneways possible

– Soft green surfaces will reduce rainfall runoff and limit the

risk of flash flooding with increasingly uncertain weather

patterns. Use of reed beds at river edge for filtration before

returning the water to the river

– On-site bike storage and cyclist facilities to promote healthy

activity and sustainable local transport options. This

proposal could act as a catalyst and hub for a local council

bike rental scheme.


– 20 x Laneway Retail Spaces (cafes, bars and boutique


– 6 x Specialty Retail Spaces relating to each of the 6

precincts of Parramatta brought together by the scheme

– 10 x Laneway Houses for visiting farmers, researchers and


– 12 levels of vertical farming space

– 40 x Rooftop Garden Plots for community use

– 2 x Rentable Indoor Multi-Purpose Event/Conference


– A research library and seed bank/lab facility

– Hard Surfaced Public Space for markets and other events

– Soft Green Public Space for public recreational use,

overlooking the river

– In ground water cisterns for collection and storage of

rainwater to be used on site

– Community Fire Pit near the river


– Viability

– Innovation

– Iconic

– Sustainable

– Activation

– Integration

– Future vision

– Creativity