Concept B: Wrap Around
This concept challenges regular approaches to adapting heritage buildings: It internalises the Civic Hall. This concept proposes to wrap the Civic Hall in a three-storey commercial development and internal pedestrian street around the South and West sides, low-scale private development on the East and an expanded Central Library to the North. The Foyer and the Lower Hall are adapted into open-air courtyards and serve as entrances to events in the Main Hall or numerous spaces for hire.
While Mair Street is developed, large public open spaces are reserved for the full length of Armstrong Street. Facing the East is a broad civic plaza to an expanded Central Library, and open eateries –likely to be activated by CBD workers for breakfast and lunch. In this concept the Central Library forms a major North-East connection to Market Street and the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, encouraging a close walk from the Railway Station. The Central Library makes connections to almost all of the different developments. The Fly Tower is adapted into a residential tower –one model for inner city living.
Concepts B suggests that the Mair Street streetscape could be developed and, if the Civic Hall buildings were completely enclosed, well-designed internal open spaces could create some interesting public experiences.