This project was strategic for the Latrobe City Council, designed to be led and owned by locals. Comprising a three level concrete and steel structure with a ‘garden’ roof, library, offices and a retail hub of approximately 4,500m2, there was a real sense of expectation for the new community building on an old car park site.
A curved and steeped platform of landscape and concrete follows the line of the railway, opening up to the town centre and creating a public square. Suspended above the podium and cantilevering over the square are two timber clad volumes oriented directly down the main street, forming a focus for this civic vista. These wooden portals frame views to the surrounding mountain ranges, and create a new civic heart and identity for the town.
Dubbed ‘the community centre’ by locals, the building provides a strong, vibrant civic heart uniting all demographics and connecting dislocated precincts of the town. The community is embracing opportunities for markets, festival and public events.
During construction, locally sourced materials and trades were used encouraging sustainable outcomes and boosting the local economy.