CODA is extremely proud to have been one of the three practices shortlisted on the international Kings Square design competition.
Our team worked passionately over the past month to develop a scheme that elegantly references the past whilst at the same time elevates Fremantle’s central heart to a place of urban connections and civic delight. Our scheme sought to create a magical interior, a place of shade, play and activity within a joyous and colourful Urban Room. We saw the urban room to be a place of civic and community pride, a space to hold events day and night all year round, under cover and away from the fickleness of the weather.
Our scheme rejected generic formalism and delivered a nuanced and urban response to Fremantle’s proud cultural social and built heritage that was both a celebration of the past and an evocation of a brighter future. The building was a bricolage, its many fragments operating as links to the fine grain of the City, and reinforced the townscape of Fremantle with its thick walls and inner worlds of repose.
Most importantly, we sought to activate and energise the surrounding streets and Kings Square by locating the library and many important community and council services onto all three street elevations. The library was located over two levels, with outdoor reading rooms, children’s activity spaces on the ground floor, along with a prominent home for the City’s Local History section over the City Desk. We also suggested FOUND – the Fremantle Art’s Centres retail outlet could locate a satellite store promoting the creative industries of Fremantle to a wider audience. The FAC is a great community icon for the city, and its satellite store could have been the venue for more intimate artist-in-residence programs, along with openings and launches within the City’s new home.
One of Fremantle’s greatest assets is its engaged and proud community and our scheme delivered a vibrant and beautiful town civic centre that spoke as much to them as it did to the requirements of local government. By adjoining a new foyer and terrace we not only connected the Town Hall to the Urban Room, but also allowed the community to interact and observe the workings of the council directly. We strongly believe the council’s elected members should be part of its community; open and accessible to the broader public, with the inner workings of the council process ‘on display’ to it’s constituents.
Although disappointed with the result, we are proud of the design work completed, and its celebration of everything that make Freo such a unique place in the world.
Our Stage 1 and Stage 2 submissions will be available here shortly. The drawings and physical model of our scheme will be on display at the former Myer building until Christmas. If you can’t make it down, here’s the film that we made to accompany our entry. Make sure your volume’s turned up – it’s a recording from a local busker, fined tuned by our resident DJ, John Tanner…sounds great!
(ps. if the film doesn’t immediately load, please hit refresh to correct the issue).