Church Street & Fleming Street, Morwell

Client: Castlerock Property Pty Ltd
Project type: Commercial (office)
Stakeholders: Latrobe City Council, DELWP, Department of Premier and Cabinet, OVGA, Regional Development Victoria, Latrobe Valley Authority
Value: $30 million

The project
The Latrobe Valley GovHub is one of three GovHubs built in Victoria, and part of a $266 million Latrobe Valley transition package that was announced in May 2018 by the Premier of Victoria to support economic growth, create jobs and drive the businesses and industries in the Latrobe Valley.

The development (designed by WMK Architecture and built by Castlerock Property) is located in the Morwell township and accommodates up to 300 workers, of which 200 are public sector employees – including staff from Earth Regulation, Parks Victoria and Solar Victoria.

The challenge

We navigated the planning challenges that arose throughout numerous design workshops with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA).

We also needed a planning scheme amendment to rezone part of the site to ensure the land in its entirety was zoned as Mixed Use. The planning authority for this undertaking was the Minister for Planning. We introduced site-specific use and development controls via an Incorporated Document and a Specific Control Overlay that allowed the land to be used for government offices and ancilliary uses.
Importantly, this amendment was subject to extensive community consultation.

The outcome

By and large, the project received high levels of support from its key stakeholders. Latrobe Valley GovHub has now been built and is creating important jobs for the region. Its design is outstanding – taking cues from the Hazelwood Power Station and coal mine, which form a huge part of the cultural identity of Morwell. In particular, the roof of the building is inpired by the bucket wheel dredgers of the coal mine. From the street, the roof creates an animated facade, which incporates variation in depth to reduce the perceived length along Church Street.