An independent expert Jury has chosen the winner of the architectural design competition for the proposed Community Hub on the former Kingston High School site.
The submission from March Studio was awarded first prize and a joint second prize was awarded to submissions from Bence Mulcahy and Jones Moore Architecture (in association with Architects Designhaus). Council ran the architectural design competition in accordance with the guidelines of the Australian Institute of Architects, which attracted 17 submissions from local and national architects.
The Jury’s summary of the winning submission said March Studio’s concept provides a powerful yet simple response to a complex brief and that the use of an inventive modular system which furnishes the ‘market hall’ will allow for the future development and refinement of the facility as new programs emerge. The design works for the Kingston community at a symbolic, contextual and historic level and is consistent with the shed/retail aesthetic of the Kingston and Channel district landscape and points at the possible integration of the arts with business, manufacturing, agricultural and food components of the community which would be distinctive in the Tasmanian context.
Mayor Steve Wass said that “this design will provide a striking building that will be an effective re-use of the old gym building, while providing a new facility that is flexible for future changing demands. It will also be built to a style and quality that can be used as an example for other future surrounding developments”.
Council will now be engaging March Studio as the project architect and will jointly develop the more detailed designs of what will be a new and exciting community centre that will be the centrepiece of the development. It will provide a venue for events, displays, performances, meetings and other family oriented activities that is much needed within central Kingston.
The winning design:
The redevelopment of the Kingston Park is our region’s most exciting and significant project for generations.
A Development Plan for the site was completed in 2013 and a copy is provided here – see “Kingston Final Report – Vol 9” below. This Plan has since been endorsed by Council and now forms the basis for all future decisions relating to the development of this site. The Development Plan proposes a mix of public open space (almost 40% of the whole site), community facilities, medium density residential and some commercial components.
The proposed site development is intended to complement and support the existing development within central Kingston and to encourage its further development. Kingston should have a commercial business district that provides all of the necessary services required of a municipality with Kingborough’s population. The site development will also be part of an exciting upgrade of public infrastructure throughout central Kingston that will greatly increase public amenity and improve the general appearance of the CBD area.
The former school buildings have been demolished and the next stages of development include a proposed Integrated Care Centre, internal road construction and the design of the proposed Community Hub facility. The latter is intended to provide a new community “heart” for Kingston and eventually be the focus for community events and family activities.
In March 2015 Council received a report on the economic benefits of this project. Once completed, the redevelopment of the KHS site will inject more than $80M a year into the local economy and help create 600 new jobs in Kingston – during a 10 year construction period, there will be $90M of on-site development and an additional 70 jobs will be created each year. A copy of this report is provided below.
A video or virtual tour of the developed site has also been prepared and this soon be included for viewing as well. A further initiative will be a public competition to find a better name for the project rather than continuing to call it the “former Kingston High School site”.
Kingborough Council has arranged an Interactive Video Presentation Proposal of the site Click Here to view the tour.