When: April 2012 - ongoing

Location: Between Mair, Armstrong and Doveton Streets, Ballarat + www.civichallsite.org

Team: Ammon Beyerle + Michelle Emma James + Caitlin Conley + Micha Woodhouse + Riccardo Ciriani

Partners: The Art of Events, The Editorial Suite, SED Advisory Group, The Changesmiths (October 2014), CivicCommunityProcessGroup (-November 2013)

Client: The City of Ballarat (May 2014-)

"On March 28, 2012, Council endorsed a new engagement process for the Ballarat Civic Hall site. The aim of this new process is to enable the participation of Ballarat’s highly engaged community to generate viable redevelopment concepts for the site.

"Unlike many other parts of the Municipality, the precinct enjoys a comparatively rich transport and employment context, including convenient access to the Ballarat railway station and direct abuttal to two major road networks which support both public and private transport. The site is not only a strategically important site in terms of the future growth of Ballarat and its CBD , but the site is also one of prime community importance as evidenced through the most recent redevelopment proposal.

"The previous master plan for the site which was endorsed by Council in November 2010 was based upon maximising commercial development outcomes on the site. Following community backlash regarding the previous development proposal, Council resolved in December 2011 that it also no longer supported this approach.

"It is therefore proposed that this new community led process will identify a supported vision for the site which includes a range of parameters which go beyond purely commercial and economic in nature."
- City of Ballarat, Development Brief for the Community led Engagement Process, April 2012

Ballarat has strong examples of community participation with examples of physical community buildings in the past and present, and these continue to grow today. In recent years many have gathered around interests in environmental sustainability and cultural diversity. Face-to-face meeting places are vital to these community groups. There is clearly a strong need for community infrastructure (a civic hall) in Ballarat, and there is a need for its location to be in the city centre (the civic centre).

here studio was invited by Andrew Beyerle, a local chef in Ballarat, to contribute to a community led submission for council's Community led Engagement Process. here studio is an architectural practice that focuses on participatory design and community projects that build shared capacity.

Ammon and Andrew Beyerle grew up in Ballarat. Ammon had his Ballarat High School debutante ball at the Civic Hall in 1995, and has memories of many school social events in the building. Their family have followed the difficult process of the redevelopment of the site and hoped that the citizens of Ballarat may eventually be given meaningful control over what happens with their Civic Centre.

--
2012:

With only a very short amount of time to make a submission on the 18th May, we ran two first face-to-face community design workshops on the 2nd and 6th of May in Ballarat. We connected various community assets and ideas discussed in online forums and over kitchen tables to propose a compelling vision that has community support. Our vision was for a participatory process. We also had ideas for community activation through arts and events. Andrew prepared and gathered the team together for meetings which were facilitated by here studio. We made a private blog and collaborated on a joint googledoc to build content by correspondence. Before the submission was made on 25th May, we ran five workshops; together we determined a positive approach for action that would continue after the submission.

After our formal submission, and participating in formal community forums run by Village Well, we (the CivicCommunityProcessGroup) met met fortnightly over dinner and drinks to connect, discuss the project and more generally, campaign ideas to build ambition and community-led processes in Ballarat.

The City of Ballarat undertook two community workshops in this process:

"Stage 1
[...] We would like to hear all your ideas for the Civic Hall. [...]
Written, film or image submissions are encouraged.

Stage 2
Illustrating the vision and Community Forum
Civic Hall 2012 Community Forum – Review of Ideas
Review the submissions made for Civic Hall 2012 at one of two forums [...]
In June a team of architects and architectural students will work with your ideas to illustrate your idea for Civic Hall.
The submissions will be compiled into a working book that will be available to the community and will be discussed at a community forum in June.
The submissions will also be placed on Council’s website – www.ballarat.vic.gov.au and the Civic Hall 2012 Facebook Page and YouTube
Stage 3
Community Forum and feedback –July Join Council in June and July to discuss the submissions and theDevelopment Scenarios Brief. The session will seek to further refine any submissions condense the submissions into themes.
Stage 4
Publication of Community Engagement Redevelopment Options The Visualisation Team will assist Council to produce a final book of the preferred options for the Civic Hall. This book of options for the Civic Hall will be presented to the current Council for consideration and referral onto the Council to be elected in November 2012."

Click here to download our first submission: Stage 1

In June, 2012 with CivicCommunityProcessGroup, we presented a developed version of this to Council officers called the CCPG Synthesis Model. It outlined a participatory process synthesising 300 to 10 to 5 to 3 concepts over 9 months. The process would include activation events, an 'open door studio' on site, artist documentation, and a core team focused on communication, facilitation, events, visualisation, design and research. It would be overlooked and checked with cost planning, town planning, heritage, governance and design procurement expertise. The process was built around a cycle to gather ideas then build consensus and connection throughout the Ballarat Community, as the ideas were developed and made less numerous.

--
2013

A number of people from CivicCommunityProcessGroup formed to run "Rock the Civic", a manifestation event to re-activate the Civic Hall, with local bands.
"Musicians to Raise Ballarat Civic Hall's Profile", The Courier 2 April 2013
"Ballarat Civic Hall Set to Rock Again", The Courier 15 May 2013

In September 2013, Council decided to undertake a planning process to test the merits of demolishing the Civic Hall. At this time The CivicCommunityProcessGroup stopped meeting. Save Civic Hall was established and Ammon started the Save Civic Hall Governance Group (looking backwards and forwards), which met each weekend to discuss Council processes and develop strategies to improve decision-making for the project in the future.
"Ballarat City Council to knock down Civic Hall", The Courier 26 September 2014

--
2014
Over many weekends including market stalls, street stalls and fundraising events - including an art exhibition, Save Civic Hall gathered over 3000 objections to the planning permit. With the Victorian State election looming, Premier Denis Napthine came to Ballarat and announced that a major government department, VicRoads, would be brought to Ballarat, to the Civic Hall site. Consequently, the Ballarat City Council decided to suspend the planning permit process to demolish Civic Hall and opened the way for adaptive reuse.

"Civic Hall art auction raises thousands for legal fees", The Courier 26 January 2014
"New Vicroads HQ to be built next to Civic Hall", The Courier 30 March 2014
"Outcry as Council suspends Civic Hall demolition process", The Courier 10 April 2014

In May 2014, The CEO of The City of Ballarat, Anthony Schinck contracted here studio to develop the CCPG Synthesis model into a full proposal for Council to consider. During this phase Ammon gave a public talk, we met with Save Civic Hall and The Committee for Ballarat, and corresponded with community members. That proposal was accepted in a motion by Council in August 2014 - The Civic Hall Site - Participatory Community Design Process.

From August to October 2014 here studio continued preparations for the project including drafting terms of reference for a "Partnership Group" of Councillors and two community organisations, assisting set up of the "Open Door Studio", and organising a launch "Get Together" 25 October 2014 to open the doors and start the process. We brought The Changesmiths on board to help us with initial communications set up. Council put the process to open tender on 12 September 2014. On 12 November 2014 Council passed a motion to accept the Partnership Group terms of reference and announced here studio was awarded the competitive tender.

"Reuse options for Civic Hall planned", The Courier 25 May 2014
"Civic Hall to open as part of design consultation", The Courier 10 August 2014
"Civic Hall collaboration attracts hundreds", Nicholas Payne, The Courier 25 October 2014

Links:
City of Ballarat, Civic Hall 2012
City of Ballarat, Development Brief for background & site information PDF
Civic Hall Come to Life! Facebook group
Save Civic Hall - Engaging the Ballarat Community to activate our Civic Hall
Civic Hall Site - official site of the Participatory Community Design Process

--

Here are some of the key documents and reports:
Ballarat Civic Hall Reuse/Redevelopment
Preliminary Business Case/Feasibility Study PDF
by SGS Economics and Planning, June 2012
Workshop summary report, key findings from engagement PDF by Village Well, 14 July 2012
Redevelopment Options Report PDF by Village Well, August 2012
Council Meeting Minutes 12 September 2012 PDF
Community Survey, CATI Survey Report, December 2011 (phone survey) by Roy Morgan Research
Community Survey
Qualitative Report December 2011
(focus groups) by Roy Morgan Research
Council Meeting Minutes 8 February 2013
Council Meeting Agenda 13 August 2014
Council Meeting attachment 15.1 13 August 2014
Council Meeting Minutes 13 August 2014
Council Meeting Agenda 12 November 2014
Council Meeting attachment 12.3 12 November 2014

(Last update 25/3/15)


When: April 2012 - ongoing

Location: Between Mair, Armstrong and Doveton Streets, Ballarat + www.civichallsite.org

Team: Ammon Beyerle + Michelle Emma James + Caitlin Conley + Micha Woodhouse + Riccardo Ciriani

Partners: The Art of Events, The Editorial Suite, SED Advisory Group, The Changesmiths (October 2014), CivicCommunityProcessGroup (-November 2013)

Client: The City of Ballarat (May 2014-)

"On March 28, 2012, Council endorsed a new engagement process for the Ballarat Civic Hall site. The aim of this new process is to enable the participation of Ballarat’s highly engaged community to generate viable redevelopment concepts for the site.

"Unlike many other parts of the Municipality, the precinct enjoys a comparatively rich transport and employment context, including convenient access to the Ballarat railway station and direct abuttal to two major road networks which support both public and private transport. The site is not only a strategically important site in terms of the future growth of Ballarat and its CBD , but the site is also one of prime community importance as evidenced through the most recent redevelopment proposal.

"The previous master plan for the site which was endorsed by Council in November 2010 was based upon maximising commercial development outcomes on the site. Following community backlash regarding the previous development proposal, Council resolved in December 2011 that it also no longer supported this approach.

"It is therefore proposed that this new community led process will identify a supported vision for the site which includes a range of parameters which go beyond purely commercial and economic in nature."
- City of Ballarat, Development Brief for the Community led Engagement Process, April 2012

Ballarat has strong examples of community participation with examples of physical community buildings in the past and present, and these continue to grow today. In recent years many have gathered around interests in environmental sustainability and cultural diversity. Face-to-face meeting places are vital to these community groups. There is clearly a strong need for community infrastructure (a civic hall) in Ballarat, and there is a need for its location to be in the city centre (the civic centre).

here studio was invited by Andrew Beyerle, a local chef in Ballarat, to contribute to a community led submission for council's Community led Engagement Process. here studio is an architectural practice that focuses on participatory design and community projects that build shared capacity.

Ammon and Andrew Beyerle grew up in Ballarat. Ammon had his Ballarat High School debutante ball at the Civic Hall in 1995, and has memories of many school social events in the building. Their family have followed the difficult process of the redevelopment of the site and hoped that the citizens of Ballarat may eventually be given meaningful control over what happens with their Civic Centre.

--
2012:

With only a very short amount of time to make a submission on the 18th May, we ran two first face-to-face community design workshops on the 2nd and 6th of May in Ballarat. We connected various community assets and ideas discussed in online forums and over kitchen tables to propose a compelling vision that has community support. Our vision was for a participatory process. We also had ideas for community activation through arts and events. Andrew prepared and gathered the team together for meetings which were facilitated by here studio. We made a private blog and collaborated on a joint googledoc to build content by correspondence. Before the submission was made on 25th May, we ran five workshops; together we determined a positive approach for action that would continue after the submission.

After our formal submission, and participating in formal community forums run by Village Well, we (the CivicCommunityProcessGroup) met met fortnightly over dinner and drinks to connect, discuss the project and more generally, campaign ideas to build ambition and community-led processes in Ballarat.

The City of Ballarat undertook two community workshops in this process:

"Stage 1
[...] We would like to hear all your ideas for the Civic Hall. [...]
Written, film or image submissions are encouraged.

Stage 2
Illustrating the vision and Community Forum
Civic Hall 2012 Community Forum – Review of Ideas
Review the submissions made for Civic Hall 2012 at one of two forums [...]
In June a team of architects and architectural students will work with your ideas to illustrate your idea for Civic Hall.
The submissions will be compiled into a working book that will be available to the community and will be discussed at a community forum in June.
The submissions will also be placed on Council’s website – www.ballarat.vic.gov.au and the Civic Hall 2012 Facebook Page and YouTube
Stage 3
Community Forum and feedback –July Join Council in June and July to discuss the submissions and theDevelopment Scenarios Brief. The session will seek to further refine any submissions condense the submissions into themes.
Stage 4
Publication of Community Engagement Redevelopment Options The Visualisation Team will assist Council to produce a final book of the preferred options for the Civic Hall. This book of options for the Civic Hall will be presented to the current Council for consideration and referral onto the Council to be elected in November 2012."

Click here to download our first submission: Stage 1

In June, 2012 with CivicCommunityProcessGroup, we presented a developed version of this to Council officers called the CCPG Synthesis Model. It outlined a participatory process synthesising 300 to 10 to 5 to 3 concepts over 9 months. The process would include activation events, an 'open door studio' on site, artist documentation, and a core team focused on communication, facilitation, events, visualisation, design and research. It would be overlooked and checked with cost planning, town planning, heritage, governance and design procurement expertise. The process was built around a cycle to gather ideas then build consensus and connection throughout the Ballarat Community, as the ideas were developed and made less numerous.

--
2013

A number of people from CivicCommunityProcessGroup formed to run "Rock the Civic", a manifestation event to re-activate the Civic Hall, with local bands.
"Musicians to Raise Ballarat Civic Hall's Profile", The Courier 2 April 2013
"Ballarat Civic Hall Set to Rock Again", The Courier 15 May 2013

In September 2013, Council decided to undertake a planning process to test the merits of demolishing the Civic Hall. At this time The CivicCommunityProcessGroup stopped meeting. Save Civic Hall was established and Ammon started the Save Civic Hall Governance Group (looking backwards and forwards), which met each weekend to discuss Council processes and develop strategies to improve decision-making for the project in the future.
"Ballarat City Council to knock down Civic Hall", The Courier 26 September 2014

--
2014
Over many weekends including market stalls, street stalls and fundraising events - including an art exhibition, Save Civic Hall gathered over 3000 objections to the planning permit. With the Victorian State election looming, Premier Denis Napthine came to Ballarat and announced that a major government department, VicRoads, would be brought to Ballarat, to the Civic Hall site. Consequently, the Ballarat City Council decided to suspend the planning permit process to demolish Civic Hall and opened the way for adaptive reuse.

"Civic Hall art auction raises thousands for legal fees", The Courier 26 January 2014
"New Vicroads HQ to be built next to Civic Hall", The Courier 30 March 2014
"Outcry as Council suspends Civic Hall demolition process", The Courier 10 April 2014

In May 2014, The CEO of The City of Ballarat, Anthony Schinck contracted here studio to develop the CCPG Synthesis model into a full proposal for Council to consider. During this phase Ammon gave a public talk, we met with Save Civic Hall and The Committee for Ballarat, and corresponded with community members. That proposal was accepted in a motion by Council in August 2014 - The Civic Hall Site - Participatory Community Design Process.

From August to October 2014 here studio continued preparations for the project including drafting terms of reference for a "Partnership Group" of Councillors and two community organisations, assisting set up of the "Open Door Studio", and organising a launch "Get Together" 25 October 2014 to open the doors and start the process. We brought The Changesmiths on board to help us with initial communications set up. Council put the process to open tender on 12 September 2014. On 12 November 2014 Council passed a motion to accept the Partnership Group terms of reference and announced here studio was awarded the competitive tender.

"Reuse options for Civic Hall planned", The Courier 25 May 2014
"Civic Hall to open as part of design consultation", The Courier 10 August 2014
"Civic Hall collaboration attracts hundreds", Nicholas Payne, The Courier 25 October 2014

Links:
City of Ballarat, Civic Hall 2012
City of Ballarat, Development Brief for background & site information PDF
Civic Hall Come to Life! Facebook group
Save Civic Hall - Engaging the Ballarat Community to activate our Civic Hall
Civic Hall Site - official site of the Participatory Community Design Process

--

Here are some of the key documents and reports:
Ballarat Civic Hall Reuse/Redevelopment
Preliminary Business Case/Feasibility Study PDF
by SGS Economics and Planning, June 2012
Workshop summary report, key findings from engagement PDF by Village Well, 14 July 2012
Redevelopment Options Report PDF by Village Well, August 2012
Council Meeting Minutes 12 September 2012 PDF
Community Survey, CATI Survey Report, December 2011 (phone survey) by Roy Morgan Research
Community Survey
Qualitative Report December 2011
(focus groups) by Roy Morgan Research
Council Meeting Minutes 8 February 2013
Council Meeting Agenda 13 August 2014
Council Meeting attachment 15.1 13 August 2014
Council Meeting Minutes 13 August 2014
Council Meeting Agenda 12 November 2014
Council Meeting attachment 12.3 12 November 2014

(Last update 25/3/15)