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GCCC Robina Workplace and Library

Part 2 Project 2012
Jonathan Ward
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
The Gold Coast, located in South-East Queensland, is the fastest growing region in Australia and is recognized for its unique urban form and colourful history. This capstone project addressed a real design scenario provided by the Gold Coast City Council for future council accommodation to be located in Robina, a developing suburb that is currently forecast as one of three key centres of this burgeoning linear city. In its current state, Robina is identified by the legacy of its 1980’s era masterplan, which remains heavily car dependant and focused around the suburb’s two main drawcards – the expansive shopping centre and Robina Hospital, between which the site is located.

The aspirations of the GCCC were to develop the site as a catalyst project for further major development, in line with the overall vision for the city. Along with significant workplace accommodation, the brief asked for a community library adjacent to a major public space with connections to a newly built train station and a proposed highly active commercial boulevard.

Establishing the project primarily as a unique civic address, as opposed to simply providing accommodation for council offices was the principal driver behind this proposition. Key to this aspiration was the organisation of the civic ‘heart’ of the project – the Robina Library – within the larger building program, securing the project identity as foremost a public building.

Formally, the building defines a street edge, strengthening a future Laver Drive precinct, before giving way to an urban plaza that recognizes anecdotal links to Robina train station. The library presents a formal address to this outdoor space by way of a projected masonry screen, which defines the informal ‘reading room’ program internally. Beyond, a significant public volume provides definition between spaces for ‘collection’ and ‘information’. This volume acts to pull the edge of the civic plaza within the building envelope, blurring the distinction between public and invited space. Entry to the building is deliberately aligned to provide for the accountability of council functions to the community for which it serves.

Jonathan Ward

Tutor(s)
Ms Elizabeth Musgrave
2012
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