Concept G: Big Park
This concept proposes a large park as a forecourt to an expanded Central Library. A small minority of participants in the Participatory Community Design Process to date have advocated for the complete demolition of the Civic Hall. Of those participants, almost all have proposed replacement of the Civic Hall with mixed community uses, exhibition spaces and music venues in the same position as the original building. This concept has been included because it is the only significant concept that has not been addressed elsewhere (and it emphases how important ‘green spaces’are to the citizens of Ballarat).
The key opportunities this project offers are the provision of a large central park in the CBD, expected low construction and running costs, and a significant forecourt to an expanded Central Library with carparking below. Further carparking has not been included because it does not fit with the aims of this concept, and would be required to be carried off-site, such as on the Railway Station Precinct. The park is imagined as densely populated by trees to create a lush atmosphere, and continues across Armstrong Street.
Concept G draws a bold vision for the site that ignores many community sentiments about the Civic Hall and provides an extensive CBD parkland, that doubles as an entry to the Central Library and Community Hub.