First images of new Bundy CBD revealed
A GLOBAL award-winning design studio responsible for some of the most incredible urban designs across the world has been hired to transform Bundaberg's CBD.
Bundaberg Regional Council received 16 expressions of interest from urban designers to provide conceptual and detail design services for the CBD Revitalisation Project.
Three were short-listed and this week, Hassell Ltd was awarded the $1.589 million contract.
Hassell is working on the Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail project and the Flinders St Station revamp in Melbourne.
The company's past designs include its award-winning work on the Darwin Waterfront Master Plan.
A jubilant Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said Hassell proposed the creation of several precincts within the CBD, which celebrated Bundaberg's history, its future vision and the desire for a community and business space that had longevity and reflected the character of the region.
"Each experience is inspired by the history of the CBD and responds to the Bundaberg region's climate, biodiversity and community needs and will change the way residents, workers and tourists experience the CBD," Cr Demspey said.
CBD Reference Group chairwoman Councillor Helen Blackburn spoke to the NewsMail after the ordinary meeting of the council on Tuesday, where councillors voted unanimously to support Hassell's undertaking of the ambitious $16 million project.
Cr Blackburn said Hassell's presentation wowed everyone with its engaging proposal, including visual storyboards, which encapsulated the council's vision.
"Each of the designers presented to us and Hassell's presentation was by far and away the most exciting," Cr Blackburn said.
"What they've said is our CBD needs to be more people friendly.
"It's celebrating our CBD and looking at it with fresh eyes."
The CBD last underwent major improvements in the 1990s, which Cr Blackburn said had achieved its aim at the time of providing connectivity to shopping areas adjacent to the main street.
"Quite obviously that project is now dated and the council has adopted a vision to create 'the most vibrant CBD in regional Queensland'," Cr Blackburn said.
Cr Blackburn said with Hassell as its partner, the council had an innovative design that was uniquely Bundaberg.
"All that remains is the physical construction and what a journey that will provide for our community."
Earlier this year, a public survey was held to gauge the opinion of residents for the much-anticipated project.
The council received 260 responses to its online survey and a further 108 responses through face-to-face surveys.
Results suggested that people wanted to see new street art and murals, more shade trees, more free family events and entertainment to attract greater use, modern outdoor dining areas and of course, to address the CBD's parking woes.
Hassell's stunning people-friendly design still maintains the Bourbong St cenotaph as a critical element of its plan.
The design has many engaging characteristics, according to Cr Dempsey, including a significant uplift in public space.
"The Hassell design encourages and provides for meaningful engagement with the main street cenotaph and we are sure this celebration of our heritage will be a much-loved design feature by residents," Cr Dempsey said.
"It will support increased business footfall, encourage people to stay that little bit longer and provide a uniquely Bundaberg experience for a new generation of investment.
"I am looking forward to the connectivity the proposal can create between a vibrant CBD and the incredibly beautiful and underutilised asset of the Burnett River."
Yes or No: Do you think the Bundaberg CBD upgrade is a good idea and worth the cost?
This poll ended on 08 September 2017.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Four key elements attached to the CBD revitalisation project are listed as:
Continues to be a key driver in the region's economy, being the commercial hub of the Wide Bay-Burnett region;
Provides a diverse range of services, attractive public spaces for residents and visitors, and a range of accommodation and residential living options;
Supports further growth in the food and beverage service industry and a 'paddock to plate' culture that underscores the region's status as Australia's food bowl; and
Celebrates its riverside setting and maintains a sub-tropical, regional town centre character and atmosphere enriched by a mix of historical and contemporary buildings and spaces.
Hassell renowned for designs
Hassell has pledged to design a Bundaberg CBD that will showcase and celebrate the city's rich heritage fused with a contemporary design.
A Hassell spokesperson said the company was excited by the prospect of engaging in design work that would provide a positive impact for the residents of the region and the businesses located in the CBD.
"We are truly excited to have been successful on this project," the spokesman said.
"Council set us a challenge, not just in terms of the city's design requirements but also in the manner in which the project was offered to market.
"We firmly believe the level of involvement and the passion of the Community Reference Group has translated into a design that will provide a vibrant CBD Main Street."
The Hassell team says it developed a strong project plan that was not only creative but fundamentally underpinned by "forward construction thinking".
"We can confidently say that the design for the Bundaberg CBD will provide a range of engaging new civic spaces and a more comfortable streetscape for traders and the Bundaberg community," the spokesperson said.
"The design will showcase and celebrate local heritage whilst introducing contemporary design elements that are respectful and will become the enduring heritage of our future."
The design process will start immediately.