Construction on Cox Architecture’s Geelong Civic Precinct underway

16 August 2021

David Rowlinson

Located at 137 Mercer St, the mixed-use project will feature a separate office building as well as a 2,600 sq m public precinct. Strengthening the dialogue between the natural and built environments, the design response of the new precinct honours Geelong’s heritage, with the ground floor brick façade paying homage to the industrial heritage of the area.

The buildings are complemented by a modern glass façade for the upper levels, providing an open and transparent workplace. The design exemplifies the city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design.

Heritage elements have been celebrated throughout, with the historic Cunningham Rail Line which once ran through the site brought to life, guiding pedestrians into the precinct from Mercer Street.

The city’s new office features the highest sustainability credentials, with a six Star Green Star rating achieved for design and peak operational ratings for energy, waste and water usage. 

The building features exposed mass engineered timber elements, a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional construction methods, to create a light-filled and contemporary workplace.

The new precinct is positioned to provide views across Johnstone Park of City Hall, the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre and across to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.

It also includes coworking areas, extensive end-of-trip facilities, café and retail. Its design features a new laneway connection from Mercer Street to Bayley Street.

Quintessential Equity and the design team were selected last year via a competitive tender process. All aspects of the project are being developed in consultation with the traditional custodians of the land, the Wadawurrung People of the Kulin Nation.

As signatories of the G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) Compact, the city, Quintessential Equity and builder Watpac have committed to maximising economic and social outcomes for the region through the construction of the project.

Construction began in August 2021 with completion estimated for mid-2022.

Article first appeared in World Architecture News

Photo of the author: David Rowlinson
David Rowlinson

David hails from Lancashire, England and has lived in Australia since 1994. He studied Architecture at Sheffield University and also has an MBA from Macquarie University and a Master of Marketing from UNSW. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2016 David was Marketing Manager then CEO of a major Sydney-based manufacturer of modular carpets used in all commercial building applications. His proudest achievement was the development of an industry-leading environmental sustainability agenda, including the unique Earthplus product reuse program.

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