Geelong Town Hall Forecourt

Geelong Town Hall Plaza
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LOCATION: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
CLIENT: City of Greater Geelong
CCAA National Public Domain Award

Geelong Town Hall Forecourt represents a simple design solution to create a robust new entry forecourt to a handsome 1870′s Municipal Building. The design, in a playful way, employs a random paving pattern to create a dynamic and engaging pedestrian “moment” in a car-dominated city. Geelong is the home of the Ford Motor Company in Australia, and cars rule.

“Straws” of granite, edged in brass metal, are dropped in the new gray-toned concrete of the forecourt. Criss-crossed concrete cuts and expansion joints further activate the surface pattern.  The “straws” become a darker gray concrete color, also edged in brass, and extend into the adjacent light-toned surface on concrete pavers. Formerly this was a drab broad expanse of aging concrete sidewalk. With no curb, and with a new entry ramp, the forecourt gracefully meets new accessibility requirements. Stainless steel bollards are placed far enough apart to enable the older residents to park where they have for over 90 years, yet distinguish between street and sidewalk. New plantings of Crepe Myrtles stand out against the gray stone façade of the building. Additional benches provide valuable seating areas outside this significant public building. The Town Hall now has a more vital image in the city of Geelong. The project won the CCAA National Public Domain Award from the Streetsmart Cement and Concrete Association of Australia.