Concept J: Tip the Balance
This concept proposes major development connected to and clustered away from the Civic Hall to provide pedestrian-scale public open spaces. It includes a hotel with an Armstrong Street address, connected to a redesigned Lower Hall space for hire, and a set of three-storey residential developments in the same line as the original Fly Tower. This imagines a precinct alive at day and night, during the week and on the weekend. The concept provides clear opportunities for staging public and private investment on big and small scales.
Public open spaces surround all sides of a reactivated Civic Hall, include a secluded garden forecourt to an expanded Central Library, front civic plaza the length of Mair St, and a courtyard behind two-storey shop fronts on Armstrong Street. An iconic tourist information building sits on the corner of Armstrong and Mair Streets. Notably the concept develops a new North-East civic entry to Market Street, opposite the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative and an arrival from the Railway Station. Carparking is below. The concept is one proposal for major reactivation of the CBD for future population growth and jobs.
Concept J suggests that all key preferences for the site can be accommodated at a big scale with some complexity, if the design is nuanced, staged, and few tall buildings are well-placed.