Concepts K & L to be considered by Council for Ballarat Civic Hall


Concepts K and L

According to Here Studio Director Concept L or K are indicative of the final design for consideration by the Council.

Save Civic Hall supports concept L as the Civic Hall is retained as a dedicated Entertainment and Events venue .

In Concept K  the Library moves into the Lower Hall with the possible loss of the Stage and Flytower to that development.   The ribbon of Library spaces (appears in red) is disjointed and disconnected.  The existing  Library building  becomes offices.  The  wonderful existing reading room would be lost as the windows in the Lower Hall would not provide sufficient natural light.

There are no costings or business plan available for public viewing for the Concept Developments at this stage.

Extracts from The latest Here Studio Newsletter #44..

Crunch times

The past fortnight has been hard work for our team, working to support our Council considering a recommendation from the Partnership Group that we should now select from the 5 Concepts just 1. This required a lot of back and forth, negotiation, developing arguments, pulling together narratives, briefing, new drawings, sketches, quick cost appraisals, report writing and a presentation to Council Assembly.
We did long days (early starts and late finishes) all hands on deck. It was important to provide our Councillors as much as possible to make an informed decision.
Last night Council Assembly determined not to advance to the Council Chamber on this decision – we hope to learn a bit more from the Councillors in the Partnership Group meeting next week and discuss together what we can do as a group to focus the project.

What we observed were divisions between Concept L and K, Library and Community Hub and definitions of Event Space, mixing and keeping things separate, making some last minute changes, and staying the course. Key issues for Stage 1 are still car parking and funding – and behind these, more specific determinations of use. As a Partnership Group we have discussed looking for understanding and agreement at high level of purpose and principles, before discussing further detail.

Meanwhile, the Architectural Team have been setting up and progressing the next Phase of formal design work, preparing technical consultants, briefs, and scoping design ideas and issues for different scenarios.
We have contracted an ‘As Existing’ surveyor AAM – a state of the art, highly experienced ‘Geospatial Services company specialising in the collection, analysis, presentation and delivery of geospatial information’. AAM will start on Monday using laser and photo technology to survey the Civic Hall in its existing state so we can build a ‘BIM’ model This will save our team time, lower risks, and improve the quality of collaboration between the technical consultants going forward.

Last week our team received a presentation from a researcher/architect in hands-on participation (particularly of young people) in projects in Malawi and the US – Jillian Hopkins. We have since been positively re-energised, refocussing on user groups, and are developing tangible ways for people to keep involved in the development of the site, even as we get into the detail of formal design work. Jillian came to visit us on Tuesday and we sketched out some early ideas. More to come!
We have also developed the Landscape Architecture Plan for Stage 1, and hope to share some new images and drawings next week!

Victorian Design Review Panel  (The Victorian Government Architect)

We (Here Studio) have now received the Report from the Victorian Design Review Panel of OVGA (the Office of the Victorian Government Architect) – which we discussed in the last Newsletter. It is now in the downloads section of the website here.

This Document is most interesting with recommendations from the Victorian Government Architect:

“There is a risk that by continuing with the current program of reducing the number of options for the site to the preferred five and then three, the outcome will be a compromised solution rather than the best possible outcome for the site and the Ballarat community.”   (From the VDRP report January 2016)