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Fremantle, Western Australia

Spring 2013

Property of Kerry Hill Architects

The Kings Square Design Competition was a two-stage international design competition run by the City of Fremantle to design community and civic, retail hub in the centre of Fremantle. The development will form part of the broader Kings Square development, one of the biggest new developments in Fremantle’s history. Kerry Hill Architects won the competition.

The design proposal is defined by the white planar masonry forms hovering above the streets and a defined large verandah. The structure is conceived as a series of sandstone formations rising up to support a delicate glass prism. A sense of transparency extends to the upper levels of the building, providing good surveillance of the key outdoor spaces.

The key civic spaces includes ‘City Lawn’, ‘Community Terrace’, ‘Civic Drum’ and The Civic Library. Green space in the centre, ‘City Lawn, is dedicated to people of Fremantle. It provides a place for gathering, and is partially sheltered by a generous verandah. The ‘Community Terrace’ protected by the verandah provides an ‘Urban Room’ that is a valuable and usable outdoor space, a space where community groups gather, interact and exchange ideas. Within the building lies a singular building element: the elliptical ‘Civic Drum’. The drum is expressed in the form of a sandstone cylinder, contains a number of public functions. Council Offices are contained within a series of adaptable floor plates with rationally designed cores to ensure future functional flexibility. Civic Library is located on a single large floor plate at lower ground level, with generous water courts providing natural light and ventilation.

Nicholas was actively involved in the design competition stage. He participated in the conceptual design exploration, which includes establishing the initial planning constraints and opportunities, the investigation of formal development, circulation, spatial uses, materiality, as well as assisting in the preparation of the design presentation.

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