The Queenscliffe Hub is an exciting new integrated research and learning centre that will revitalise the Hesse St streetscape while promoting and enhancing its existing services.
|Last updated:||December 2020|
|Current status:||Initial works about to begin|
We're getting ready to start building
Council recently granted formal planning approval for the Hub design we created using your feedback. While we navigate some final approvals processes, we're getting things in place for construction to begin in 2021. Some of the things we're doing include:
The Library, Museum and VIC are moving to a temporary home
So they can keep operating while construction begins, all three organisations are moving to a temporary home at 18 Hesse Street. The Library is open at this site from Wednesday 2 December 2020; more information can be found at the Geelong Regional Libraries website. We'll have an update on the reopening of the VIC soon.
Minimising disruption during the construction period
We're working on plans to minimise disruption while the new Hub is under construction. This will include leaving the on-site toilets open for as long as possible, and adding signage to help visitors find the Library, Museum and VIC after they've been relocated.
Tendering under way
Now that planning approval has been received, construction for the Hub is currently being put to tender. This process will help select a firm to build and fit out the new building. We're expecting this process to be completed before the end of the year.
You'll also hear updates from us as the project progresses.
Here's what the Queenscliffe Hub will look like
We used your feedback from three rounds of consultation to design a building that met the needs of everyone. Representatives from the Library, Museum and the Visitor Information Centre have endorsed this plan, which has now been granted formal approval by Council. Here's what the Queenscliffe Hub will include:
More space for all three organisations
This design provides an increase in space for every tenant, with the Library, Museum and Visitor Information Centre all seeing an increase in usable floor space. Shared facilities, including staff areas and public toilets, will allow the tenant to access modern facilities without needing to compromise their own floor space. More space for every organisation means more space for the displays and activities you love.
Community spaces to share
During consultation, we heard that community spaces were a top priority for the building. This design incorporates a flexible auditorium for presentations, events or even smaller group work. An outdoor courtyard at the front of the building and an outdoor learning space in the rear garden provide opportunities to have meetings or join an activity in the fresh air. These flexible spaces have plenty of potential, and we're excited to see how the tenant organisations and our community makes use of these areas.
A design that protects and uplifts heritage
The much-loved heritage facade of the library is being preserved and celebrated as part of the design. We're also retaining the area of Field Park for public open space, preserving this green area in the middle of Hesse Street. For the new areas of the Hub, a modern, interactive facade complements the heritage library by reflecting the nearby building and providing uninterrupted views through to the garden at the rear of the building.
Open seven days a week, the new public toilet facilities integrated into the building will provide modern, all-abilities access in the middle of Hesse Street. Other design features, such as public seating, bike parking and an improved bus shelter all add up to make this space more inviting and functional for visitors. Council is also investigating adding an additional public toilet elsewhere on Hesse Street.
The below renderings show an interpretation of what the final building might look like based on these plans. You can click on each image to see a larger version.
There's plenty more to discover in the full design plans. You can download the town planning documents here.
Will the project include public toilets?
Yes. The Queenscliffe Hub will contain accessible and modern toilets inside the building, accessible 7 days a week whenever the building is open. During late evening events, such as for the Low Light festival, temporary exterior toilets may be placed on site. Council is also investigating adding an additional public toilet elsewhere on Hesse Street.
Is the heritage façade of the Library being retained?
Yes. The heritage façade will remain a prominent feature of Hesse Street, and has greatly influenced the design of the new building.
Is Field Park staying where it is?
Yes. Field Park will remain in its current location, though the layout of the park will be adjusted to accommodate the new building.
What's happening with the trees on site?
Both feature trees out the front of the museum and the large fig tree at the rear will be retained as part of the design.
Is there parking on site?
Parking is available at the rear of the building. Bike parking will also be made available on site for cyclists.
Why is the Hub being created?
The Queenscliffe Hub is a project that offers substantial economic and social benefits for our region. It recognises the importance of the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre and Queenscliff Library in the preservation and promotion of our maritime, military and cultural heritage. The Hub will be a multi-use community facility focused on innovative delivery of information, cultural development and services to residents and visitors alike.
How is the Hub being funded?
A total of $5.75 million has been allocated to the Borough of Queenscliffe for the construction of the Hub. The funding is made up of contributions from the Federal Government, the State Government's Living Libraries Program, Regional Infrastrucutre Fund and Community Support Fund, and the Borough of Queenscliffe. A funding collaboration between all three levels of government is a very appropriate result for a project that has collaboration at its heart. Council looks forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure a great result for the Borough community.
Who has taken part in the project design?
The Project Control Group includes members from each of the tenant organisations, Council, Regional Development Victoria and a community representative. The Project Steering Committee contains representatives from the above organisations, as well as additional community representatives and representation from the Victorian Government. The PSC is chaired by Minister Lisa Neville.
The design was produced using feedback from three rounds of consultation, as well as input from the tenant organisations and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. The OVGA's input has helped shape the design produced by the lead architect on the project, Kerstin Thompson Architects. You can read the OVGA's advice here. Project management is completed by Cerno Management.
Past consultation results
We used the ideas you shared during the recent consultation to give the project design team a better understanding of what the community wants to see from this project.
Some of the things we heard from you included:
- Maintaining the heritage façade of the Library and Visitor Information Centre is important, but that the interior of the building could include a range of design solutions.
- You wanted more space and modern facilities for each of the tenant organisations. We also heard that meeting spaces, along with staff and public restrooms, are a priority for the new building.
- Additional community spaces should be considered in the design. Some suggestions include public displays and improved IT facilities.