Saturday, May 25, 2024

New-look Hobsons Bay Civic Centre opened

The redeveloped, community-minded Hobsons Bay Civic Centre in Altona has officially been opened. 

Celebrating and incorporating elements of the natural environment, architecture and history of Hobsons Bay, the new-look civic centre will enable more community use and allow residents to better interact with Council, Hobsons Bay City Council said in a statement today.

The redevelopment includes a public space at the core of the building, as well as a co-working space for residents to use, community meeting rooms and a new customer service foyer.  

The building is fitted with solar panels as part of Council’s industry-leading Virtual Energy Network and window louvres that improve airflow and ventilation, making it cheaper to run. 

The design of the centre features several themed areas that reflect the natural surroundings and heritage of Hobsons Bay, including: 

  • A bricked workspace area depicting the heritage Newport Railway Workshops using old bricks from the Newport Railyards; 
  • A light zone, featuring an abstract interpretation of local federation architecture, including the white weatherboards of the Williamstown area; 
  • A shade zone, featuring black zinc shingles, to pay tribute to the industrial history of the city; 
  • A green zone to reflect the wetlands area of the city; 
  • Other repurposed materials from around the city, including stools and side tables made of hardwood from a pier pole from Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, and 60mm reclaimed round tables made from old bearers from under local houses; and 
  • A glass meeting room, known as The Cocoon, to pay tribute to the Altona Skipper Butterfly, which is only found in Altona and is classified as endangered.  

Diversity and inclusion have also been a key aspect of the design, including supporting neurodiversity, with the inclusion of a quiet sensory and prayer room. 

Hobsons Bay Mayor, Peter Hemphill said the new-look building was not just a work space for Council officers, it would be a true community building.

“Our community will be able to use this building, and it will help us bridge the communication gap that can sometimes exist between our residents and their Council,” said Mayor Hemphill.

“The redeveloped civic centre is a great reflection of this organisation – it’s smart, modern, agile and transparent. It’s more environmentally sustainable and provides great value for money for our community.  

“This $10 million refurbishment is less than a quarter of the cost of redevelopment proposals that were devised by the previous administration. It also represents a significant saving on what the maintenance and renewal costs would have been if we had retained the old civic centre. And with the solar panels fitted to the roof and other environmental designs, we are also seeing substantial reductions in energy costs. 

“I’m delighted that everything that makes Hobsons Bay great – the places and the history – have been incorporated into the design. This building connects our organisation and its staff to the most important aspects of our city – our natural setting, our history, our industry, our future and, most importantly, our local community,” he said.

Latest Articles