Recreating the Civic Heart – what has been communicated?
Community feedback resulting from the March 2012 consultation can be viewed in the Outcomes Report April 2012 and includes:
- Support for spaces encouraging public entertainment and greater plaza space
- Interest in outdoor dining, small bars and restaurants
- Support for new council building to be ‘people friendly’
- Need for more public parking; and
- Concern about the funding of redevelopment works in the future
Other key community planning documents have also fed in to this process:
Civic Centre: Findings by Project Team
The project team undertook an extensive review of the current spaces and places of the Civic Centre. Their key findings are summarised below.
A Wonderful High Street
The stretch of Military Road extending south east from Spit Junction to Raglan Street is characterised by the relatively intact and largely continuous grouping of fine late 19th century to early 20th century buildings. The buildings are generally 2 storeys with shops at street level and housing above. Whilst some of the housing may have been converted for other uses, the continuity of shops at street level, the alignment of buildings with each reinforcing the street edge, and the consistency of scale, style and material each contributes to the creation of an active and cohesive ‘High Street’ that is the centre-piece of Mosman.
Whilst the amenity of the Military Road environment improves as one moves away from Spit Junction, the older buildings within and adjacent to the Civic Centre Site are high quality and include a number of heritage listed buildings.
The Crescent + Myahgah Rd
The Crescent along the southern edge of the Civic Centre Site has a leafy residential character and is in stark contrast with the bustling activity of Spit Junction. Consistent with the general character of Mosman’s residential areas, The Crescent is characterised by broad well planted streets with mature trees and high quality early 20th Century detached Federation Housing set within large garden settings. Furthermore, the Crescent also benefits from the recreational asset of Allan Border Oval as well as the scenic quality that Mosman Park lends.
Mosman Library Building
The Mosman Library building is a significant building asset and stands as a good example of 1970s architecture. Its face brick facades with copper roof and loft-like volumes contained within offset skillion roofs are representative of the architectural trends at the time but also result in interesting interior lightfilled volumes. The building was constructed during 1977 and was designed by highly awarded architects, Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Briggs.
Right of Way
There is presently a Right of Way (ROW) orientated east-west through the centre of the site that provides access to the rear of a number of properties that have frontage to Military Road. The ROW is accessed via the car park aisles from The Crescent. In addition, these car park aisles provide service access to the Council building for functions such as Meals an Wheels. The redevelopment of the site must retain this ROW as well as generally accommodating services and parking on the site in general.
Whilst nine storey buildings exist on Military Road and within the Spit Junction precinct, development of the Civic Centre site must also recognise the residential scale of The Crescent and Myagah Road to the rear of the site. The character and scale of these streets is generally 1-2 storeys although the former Methodist church in Myagah Road and the Mosman Library Building in The Crescent each have a more ceremonial character, 3-storey scale and could provide transition to a 3-4 storey scale.
Mosman Council’s key public facilities seem poorly located to take advantage of the huge number of people that pass through Spit Junction and Military Road daily. Instead, Mosman’s Art Gallery and Public Library are located on quiet residential streets (Myagah Road and The Crescent) with no potential to capitalise upon the heavy movements of the Junction and Military Road. The Mosman Council Chambers on the other hand which rely much less upon being visible and accessible, have an extensive frontage to both Military Road and Mosman Square. Whilst the ‘Community Services’ and front counter of Mosman Council should retain prominence and accessibility, the remaining offices and mayoral facilities of the Council Chambers building can have a far less visually prominent location.
The community services and uses within the Civic Centre site include:
- Council Chambers
- Council administration
- Seniors Centre
- Meals on Wheels kitchen
- Youth Centre
- Council Carpark
- Rangers Office
- Village Green
Whilst non-Council related uses include:
- Commercial offices
- Residential apartments
- Retail shops