Two concept designs for a major revamp of the Loo with a View precinct have been released by Sunshine Coast Council – and members of the public are invited to choose which design they like best.
The Mooloolaba beachfront location – known as the Stage Two Central Meeting Place – aims to address the shortcomings of the iconic Loo with a View, which is getting old and has accessibility and amenity failings, while still maintaining public amenities in the same key location.
Independent engineering and access reports have deemed many components of the 35-year-old structure as suffering the effects of the “highly corrosive beach environment”, and non-compliant with current People with Disability Access or modern sustainable building design standards.
Council’s two proposals, labelled Concept Blue and Concept Yellow, highlight Mooloolaba’s famed ocean views and feature accessible public amenities, including a Changing Places facility.
The designs offer similar functionality and amenity, with viewing decks, meeting places, picnic areas, public toilets, beach showers landscaping, integrated seawall and a coastal pathway all included as part of both concepts.
The key difference between the two concepts is that one separates these elements to prioritise public space and enable more expansive beach views, while the other has the public amenities, viewing platform and event space located in one larger building, as occurs with the current facility.
Members of the public are invited to share their thoughts on the two designs, via council’s survey page.
The community input will help council determine the final design of the Central Meeting Place, including its new public amenities, which may be reimagined in a new-style building or rebuilt in a similar style.
The revamp of the Central Meeting Place is the second stage of Council’s massive Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project.
Bark Architects co-director Lindy Atkin, who has been working with council on the project, said the problems with the Loo with a View amenities presented an opportunity to “create something better, even more wonderful, and to celebrate where Mooloolaba is today”.
“There are significant accessibility issues with the aged Loo with a View and it’s not as simple as just adding extra wheelchair ramps,” Ms Atkin said.
“The two design concepts have been considered from the point of Universal Accessibility and both outcomes include Changing Places* amenities, family change rooms, and improved connectivity between the beach and the Esplanade.
“We would normally love to keep existing buildings. We do that in our work all the time, but there does come a time when many of the building elements reach the end of their usable life.
“In this instance, to retain the look of the existing structure and bring it up to modern standards, we will need to demolish the whole building and then completely rebuild it.
“We have had conversations with the original architect Clare Design about this project, and even they have said that if you needed to rebuild the building, you wouldn’t build it the same.’’
The designer of the Loo with the View, acclaimed architect Lindsay Clare, recently told Sunshine Coast News he would be satisfied if local residents simply got what they wanted.
He said he supported the designs that Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie had created with landscape architect Place Design Group.
“Mooloolaba’s natural beauty should be first and foremost. Any intervention needs to defer to the beach, the views to the headland and spit, and the natural and endemic vegetation,” Mr Clare said.
“We have a strong connection to Mooloolaba, and we are pleased to stitch a small piece into the fabric of the foreshore.”
Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli noted that the two concepts presented an exciting opportunity for the community to help shape the future of the Mooloolaba foreshore.
“The Central Meeting Place will further elevate Mooloolaba’s reputation as a world-class destination for residents and visitors,” Cr Natoli said.
“There are two great options to consider and I am pleased that one of the options retains the look and feel of the Loo with a View, which a large number of people in our community had asked for; the other is a completely new concept.
“I urge the community to get involved and have their say.”
Council’s acting group executive for liveability and natural assets Chris Sturgess said two independent engineering and access reports had deemed many components of the 35-year-old Loo with a View building as “close to the end of life’’.
“While currently safe and functional, the building’s roof, timber decking and steel structure are suffering the impacts of its highly corrosive beach environment,” Mr Sturgess said.
“The facility requires significant ongoing maintenance, and it is not compliant with current People with Disability Access or modern sustainable building design standards.
“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.”
Mr Sturgess said problems had also been identified with the current structure’s security, ventilation and ability to withstand extreme weather events.
BLUE AND YELLOW: Design concepts revealed
The design concepts for the Stage Two Central Meeting Place have many things in common, including accessible public amenities with a Changing Places facility and family rooms, beach showers, viewing decks, meeting places, picnic areas, landscaping, integrated seawall and a coastal pathway.
The key differences between the two concepts are outlined below:
- This reimagines Mooloolaba’s beachfront arrival experience and celebrates the beach and natural beauty as the hero of the foreshore.
- A new, open-sided, shade canopy inspired by nature, creates a new meeting place and event space, which flows onto a large, grassed area.
- This open-plan design allows for increased beachfront parkland with new viewing decks, grassed areas and terraced seating.
- New fully accessible public amenities, with Changing Places facilities and family change rooms, are located on the same level as Mooloolaba Esplanade for direct and easy access from the coastal pathway.
- The public amenities are housed in ‘pods’ in the same architectural style as Stage One Northern Parkland. Walkways and breezeways provide enhanced ventilation and views from The Esplanade to the ocean.
- This reflects on Mooloolaba’s recent history and involves the construction of a new and extended building that is strongly influenced by the existing Loo with a View architectural design.
- A meeting place, on top of the public amenities block, is consistent with the existing structure, while a connected lower viewing deck offers a meeting place and event space.
- Views of the beach and Point Cartwright are appreciated from an open, boat-inspired timber deck.
- New public amenities are located on the lower viewing deck, with entry via stairs or disability complaint ramps, set down from The Esplanade level.
Discover detailed plans, artist impressions, explanatory videos and virtual experiences available online or in-person at community pop-up days on Thursday, September 29, Tuesday, October 4, and Saturday, October 8.
For details on the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation or to subscribe to project updates, including the upcoming community engagement, visit sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.
*What is a Changing Places Toilet facility?
Changing Places toilets provide:
- a height-adjustable, adult-sized change table
- a constant-charging ceiling track hoist system
- a centrally-located peninsula toilet
- circulation spaces as defined in the design specifications
- an automatic door with a clear opening of 950 mm at a minimum (1100 mm for beach and lake locations)
- a privacy screen.
The Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation Project website notes that “Stage Two – Central Meeting Place will be constructed in 2023/24”.
Article source: www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au