Page 24 - AB Awards 2015

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allow choice and free movement
when passing through. A
focus on natural materials and
commissioned artworks enliven
the main focal spaces, with a
strong point of reference to local
identity and place-making.
Wollongong Central has occupied
new territory in the city’s retail
precinct, the first intervention
at the beginning of the as yet
ungentrified traditional high
street. As a catalyst for further
development and fine grain
revitalisation along the adjacent
streets and laneways, it will
continue to impact upon the city’s
transformation as a vibrant and
dense urban centre.
depot on the site of the old
kiosk against the northern cliff.
Establishing a new hub to the
south side away from vehicular
traffic has also allowed the
coastal walk to realign and
follow the beach promenade,
removing the previous dirt track
that used to bisect the park. The
new Tamarama Kiosk sits back
quietly against the sandstone
escarpment; the vista of the
beach and ocean framed by the
headland to remain as the lasting
The material palette of
predominantly precast concrete
and recycled Australian
hardwoods has weathered well,
taking on the patina of the coast.
The green space of the park, with
its new focus and structure, is
both delightful and well used. The
new kiosk and service building
have quickly become part of
the fabric of the place – both
Tamarama’s unique landscape
and it’s beach culture.
This is an exemplary project
representing the new role of
shopping centres as active
players in the life of the city. Not
segregated and contained, they
face outwards and connect the
streets and squares of the city.
Wollongong Central presents
a richly layered sequence of
planning, commercial and formal
decisions combined with clarity
to enhance civic life now and into
the future. The stitching together
of networks between public
and privately owned space, the
extension of activated uses into
the evening as an interface to the
street, and the provision for future
growth on and around the site,
are all products of this approach.
As a continuation of the public
domain, its internal ‘street’ is
naturally lit and provides visual
connections to the retail spaces
above and below. The multi-
level centre is however designed
not to direct the visitor, but to
This project demonstrates the
power of considered urban
design in the siting and scaling
of buildings to form successful
public space, in solving conflicts,
and opening up new connections.
The brief for this project
was to replace the existing
dilapidated Tamarama Kiosk
and also provide new service
areas to accommodate Council
maintenance, lifeguards
and Tamarama Surf Club
requirements. Despite deep
community affection the old kiosk
and outdoor cafe was poorly
located, in shade by mid-winter
and constrained by conflicts
between a service road and the
public path network.
Lahz Nimmo Architects used
this opportunity to strategically
restructure the open space,
relocating the new kiosk and
services building to the southern
side of the park with access
to more sun, and tucking the
Photography: Brett Boardman
Photography: Brett Boardman
The GPT Group’s Wollongong Central
HDR Rice Daubney
Tamarama Kiosk and Beach Amenities
Lahz Nimmo Architects