Hobsons Bay Civic Centre


Built in 1963, the Hobsons Bay Civic Centre is the central administrative office for Hobsons Bay City Council and base for 330 staff. The building needed to be brought up to modern standards to sustain Council’s future service delivery and avoid hefty maintenance costs. The new design needed to be creative, socially sensitive, sustainable, healthy and contextual, reflecting a significant cultural change within the organisation. The result is a micro-city that enhances community connection, accommodates different working methods, and highlights transparency by blurring the boundaries between public community spaces and private working areas.

Three gardens and water features (roundabouts) are scattered along the pathway containing information about Hobsons Bay’s three Kulin Nation language groups and their ties to the land. The path comprises presentation zones, collaboration zones and a floating meeting room set on a pool of water housing rescued piers. Openable louvres connect an internal garden atrium and natural ventilation to the pathway.

In the ‘shade zone’ stands the oil pod covered in black zinc shingles representing Hobson Bay’s long history of the industry. The busy activity of the north-south pathway permits a Danger Zone (a space with loud visual patterns and music) to support stimulation seekers. The heritage pod stands in the ‘light zone’ – an abstract interpretation of local federation architecture. Focus rooms are peppered throughout the light and shade zones and in the green planted pod to the north and recycled brick pod to the west. A quiet zone encircles the brick pod with its neutral palette and quietness.

Furniture: ASPECT, P4, Stylecraft, Ownworld, Footprint Furniture, Flinkspace, Koskela.

Photography: Nicole England