What’s Placemaking?

Community & Co-design
by Mark

Placemaking is about the creation of public space that is useful, enjoyable and responsive to the needs of the immediate community. Creating a sense of place is about stamping a community’s collective touch and making it of the people, not just for the people. Placemaking requires community engagement and involvement to distil those elements that the community values most and meshing them into the fabric of an inclusive space.

The activation of public places is ultimately the result of attracting people through a variety of recreational, natural and commercial elements. The mix and proportion of these elements must be determined through a genuine consultation process. Edmiston Jones have facilitated strategic place-making and urban activation in a variety of contexts. Ulladulla Civic Centre and Thirroul Library and Community Centre demonstrate these principles.

Edmiston Jones were first involved with Ulladulla Civic Centre in the early 1980’s when the building was extended from the original 300 seat auditorium to a 1000 seat function centre above a senior citizens facility. In 2012 EJ we were engaged to develop a design that is flexible with a range of uses including the auditorium, library, visitors’ centre, rooms for seniors and multipurpose spaces.

Ulladulla Civic Centre is significant as a place as much as it is a building. Located opposite the harbour and at the northern end of a long town centre, the complex provides a visible heart for a township that otherwise lacks identity. The contemporary design reflects the advanced technology of the library while taking full advantage of the beautiful Ulladulla Harbour across the road.

The Thirroul Community Centre and Library is a popular and treasured community hub providing a space for learning, meetings and other activities. The robust building is flexible, meeting the needs of a wide range of community groups and the success of the project is attributed to the inclusive consultation and design process. The Centre plays a key role in the heart of the village providing accessible, open and safe public spaces for community gatherings and activities. The building won a prestigious Australian Institute of Architects award for non-residential architecture.

With an ethos is driven by human centred design, placemaking is fundamental to Edmiston Jones’ vision. We see our role as advisors bringing people together and curating their ideas in a cohesive, creative way that crafts place for the community to cherish as its own.

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