These wooden portals that frame views to the mountains, placed carefully on a landscaped platform that form the public square have created a new civic heart and identity for the town of Moe. It is truly a place for everyone to feel welcome and included, a place that brings the community together and that marks the shared aspirations of the town.
Moe has a new sense of place and a new way to appreciate its natural beauty. Officially named the Frank Bartlett Library and Service Centre, the project has reinvigorated a town previously bifurcated by the rail line and lacking a central community gathering space. Dubbed simply ‘the community centre’ by locals, the building provides a strong and vibrant civic heart uniting all demographics and connecting dislocated precincts of the town.
The community is embracing opportunities for markets, festival and public events. Latrobe City Council has invited residents to use the facilities to start community groups based on their personal interests, and enjoy the dynamic space designed to be led and owned by locals. During construction, locally sourced materials and trades were used encouraging sustainable outcomes and boosting the local economy.
Within a modest budget, the architecture seeks an inviting and open monumentality; a significance and dignity; achieved through a sensitive urban transformation and carefully crafted materials and assembly.
“It’s clear that the community space …[and] library, [are] both an extension of the town of Moe, and Moe an extension of them. The Community Centre really does belong to the people of Moe.”
– Sally-Anne Watson Kane, Local Resident and Blogger