Concept I: Vehicles Welcome
This concept proposes a re-emphasis of the West side of the site to welcome vehicles, in particular caravan tourists driving South through Ballarat, and to leave the East side comfortable for pedestrians. Major carparking is proposed beneath the West vehicle entrance that would service an expanded Central Library, with West entry. Closing Armstrong Street to cars, a raised landscape provides a continuous pedestrian experience, over the top of the Central Library, and into spaces for hire in the East aisle of the Civic Hall, and direct access into the Lower Hall.
To welcome vehicles, the Foyer is left prominent behind a civic plaza the length of Mair St, and is converted into Ballarat’s main Tourist Information Centre –which is a regular proposal by participants of the Participatory Community Design Process. As one model for inner city living, the concept proposes a large private residential development to reuse the structure of the Fly Tower, and extend two storeys over the top of the Lower Hall. Small two-storey retail shops and eateries line Armstrong Street, and there is space for a larger scale shop on Market Street.
Concept I suggests a balance is possible between high amenity for vehicles, tourists and pedestrians with adaptation of existing buildings, extension of the Central Library, and pedestrian activation of Armstrong Street.