Following Phase One of Community Engagement, council invited feedback on draft design concepts for Mooloolaba’s Stage Two Central Meeting Place.
These concepts are guided by the Master Plan along with Placemaking Mooloolaba design principles, critical engineering reports, climate change considerations and key themes identified through the first phase of community engagement.
Watch the video all about the Central Meeting Place
Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation
The multiple stage Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation project is guided by the Placemaking Mooloolaba Master Plan endorsed by council in December 2015. The detailed design, which evolved from the Master Plan, was released to the community in August 2019.
This exciting project is increasing public beachfront parkland by 40 per cent and providing new community spaces, enhanced family facilities and accessible amenities - all of which aim to celebrate the natural and inclusive Sunshine Coast way of life.
The revitalised foreshore will ensure Mooloolaba, and the Sunshine Coast region, remains an attractive and competitive destination for locals and visitors.
To learn more about the overall Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation, Master Plan and previous Community Engagement, please visit the project webpage.
With the Stage One Northern Parkland now open, the Central Meeting Place is prioritised for the next stage the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation. This precinct is located near the Brisbane Road entry point to Mooloolaba Esplanade. It will be a place where our community can arrive, meet, gather, celebrate and connect with nature and each other.
The Stage Two Central Meeting Place encompasses 6500m² of beachfront parkland and involves addressing the Loo with a View, its aged state and accessibility issues.
Council will consider the community’s feedback, engineering reports as well as any state authority approvals and funding requirements to assist in determining the final design of The Central Meeting Place.
The 2015 Master Plan identified the Central Meeting Place as a significant asset to the foreshore, particularly in relation to enhancing Mooloolaba’s arrival experience and providing a revitalised meeting place.
The Central Meeting Place will provide a variety of new features for our community to enjoy, including:
- improved arrival experience and ocean vistas from Brisbane Road
- improved connection between the Central Meeting Place and Mooloolaba Esplanade shops and dining
- increased open parkland to connect with and appreciate nature
- a revitalised meeting place and event space that enhances Mooloolaba’s status as a world-class destination
- a new viewing deck to take in the iconic 180 degree views of the coastline
- a central events green – an open area with tiered seating for community events
- improved, fully accessible public amenities incorporating a Changing Places facility for people with a disability
- integration of a new seawall to future proof community assets and the foreshore by responding to rising sea levels and climate change
- integration of SmartCity technology.
Feedback received through the first phase of community engagement (Phase One 'Have your say' held in March to May 2022) has assisted council and the consultant design team to develop informed design concepts for the Central Meeting Place.
Below are the main themes and values that emerged through the community engagement process:
In addition to the community values identified during Phase One community engagement, the following considerations have also informed the two design concepts:
- Council policy
- State government legislation
- Sunshine Coast Design principles
- Placemaking Mooloolaba Master Plan
- sustainable design practices, including the Coastal Hazard Adaption Strategy, which addresses the implications and future impacts of storm events and climate change
- new seawall protection with event terracing
- revitalised event space to elevate Mooloolaba’s status as a world-class destination
- accommodating more open space to service the growing population and future visitor need
- more amenities with high public safety
- 50 year design life for built infrastructure
- introducing a ‘Changing Places Australia’ standard facility, which is a best practice all abilities change facility
- ensuring inclusive, universal and equitable access for all, ideally to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act
- integrating a 5-6 m wide pathways that enables vehicle, active transport, signature sporting event movements and community celebration events.
- retaining existing trees whilst integrating more shade trees, grass areas and soft landscaping
- improving pedestrian connections between the Esplanade and foreshore
- integrating SmartCity technology.
Watch these videos to learn about design inspiration and cultural values of the Central Meeting Place
Loo with a View Update
While currently safe and functional, two independent engineering and access reports have deemed many components of the 35-year-old Loo with a View building* as close to the end of life.
The facility requires significant ongoing maintenance, and it is not compliant with current People with Disability Access or modern sustainable building design standards.
The building’s roof, timber decking and steel structure are suffering impacts from its highly corrosive beach environment.
Its surrounding decks and pathways provide limited access for those in our community with a disability, parents, carers, and those using mobility devices or prams.
Architects engaged by council for the Central Meeting Place’s design advise there are extensive design constraints associated with trying to refurbish the existing structure and ‘simply adding extra wheelchair ramps’ is not a feasible option.
In addition to the structural and accessibility issues, there are problems identified with:
- lack of protection by the existing seawall in extreme weather events due to climate change
- poor building orientation to respond to the climate conditions
- safety, security and lack of surveillance
- interruption of views from footpaths, roads and properties on the opposite side of the Mooloolaba Esplanade
- insufficient natural light and ventilation.
Removing all failing elements of the existing building would mean that only the concrete columns and block walls remain.
While these elements have some further lifespan, refurbishment is not considered economically or environmentally viable with the revitalised foreshore being created with a 50-year future design life.
The existing building must therefore be completely removed to allow for new accessible public amenities, and other community facilities to be built in the central foreshore area.
Community input will help council to determine the final design of the Central Meeting Place, including its new public amenities, which may be reimagined in a new style building in the same location or rebuilt as a similar style building in the same location (refer to Concept Blue and Concept Yellow).
*1987 project designers included architectural firm Clare Design (Architect Lindsay Clare) as commissioned by former Maroochy Shire Council. 1997 designers included John Mongard Landscape Architects with contributions by various artists.