Coffs Harbour City Council has released a preliminary Schematic Design for the proposed Cultural and Civic Space for the Coffs Harbour region.

Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight says the release of this unique building design is a welcome step forward, providing more space for our central library, regional gallery and museum, and centralised council facilities to bring life, vibrancy and economic benefits to the Heart of the City.

“This preliminary schematic design has been produced from the consultation with Coffs Harbour residents and key stakeholders in 2018 which indicated they were seeking an environmentally sustainable and efficient ‘statement’ building that reflects the place we all call home,” she said.

The design team from architects BVN has been working on a preliminary schematic design that considers the elements from previous engagement activities that provided Council with a very clear picture about what the community were looking for in this facility.

This phase of the project has seen key stakeholders working with the design team to help develop draft schematic designs that include the elements to deliver that earlier vision.

With an overarching theme of ‘All Welcome’, this preliminary schematic design has six strong principles that support the decision-making processes for the building design. Each building element will also match the desired experiences to ‘gather, create and discover’ in this reimagined space to combine arts, community and culture.

Influenced by Coffs Harbour’s unique environment – the sea, the harbour, the fig tree, the sense of place – this exciting building form is shaped to promote the idea of all welcome and to be readily apparent on the Coffs Harbour skyline.

The preliminary schematic design includes shared open space and blurred boundaries between the public, cultural and library functions of the building.

A public space on level three is open to the sky and is designed for small events, such as council meetings, smoking ceremonies and other community functions.

The building wraps around the fig tree in Riding Lane, providing views to it from all levels as a wayfinding, orientation and contact with nature.

The preliminary schematic design will be on display at the Council’s Customer Service Centre in Castle Street and local libraries from the 10th May until 31 May. The community is also able to view the schematic design and meet the project team at one of the display stands in shopping centres across Coffs Harbour during May.

The Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast on the 26th June where businesses will have the opportunity to meet the architects and understand more about the project.

The project estimate is $76.5 million and the design is being progressed within that budget. Subject to approval, this work could be followed by a detailed design step with the preparation for the development application in mid-2019. The development application is planned to be available on formal exhibition for public comment later in 2019.

Designed to combine arts, community and culture to create a lively community and civic space for a vibrant and active City Centre, this exciting facility will incorporate the central library, museum, regional gallery and centralised council facilities to improve services for the Coffs Harbour region. It is anticipated that this will assist in revitalising the city centre, creating economic benefits for the business community.

Community and key stakeholders are invited to view the draft schematic design at one of the displays or pop up stalls or visit the Coffs Harbour City Council at

Take a look at the video which shows you the schematic design in full.

Any members who would like more information about this topic are welcome to contact the project officer via