"This building is such a wonderful legacy from what was one of our darkest moments"
Jennifer Wood, Treasurer of the Narbethong Public Hall Committee

Narbethong Community Hall

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Narbethong Public Hall Committee Inc
Narbethong Community Hall, B360, Narbethong, Victoria, Australia
April 2009 - November 2011
Full Architectural Services

441m² GFA


An opportunity to create an improved public space for the Community and a new typology for Community buildings.

Narbethong, in the Upper Yarra Valley, was one of the communities that was affected by the Black Friday fires. The rebuilding of the Narbethong Community Hall which was destroyed in these fires presented an opportunity to create an improved public space for the Community and a new typology for Community buildings.

The previous hall was a basic timber structure built more than 50 years ago, it lacked adequate heating and facilities were limited and outmoded. It was sited with its entry fronting to the busy Maroondah Highway and was not designed to capture the beautiful landscape aspects of the site.

The new Narbethong Community Hall is a highly transparent building that allows the residents and passing traffic to see the liveliness of the community whilst allowing the occupants of the Hall to have a strong connection with the surrounding landscape.

The Community wanted the building to express the heritage of Narbethong, founded as a ‘timber town’. Due to the proximity of the Bush Reserve, the new Hall is required to meet a high Bush Fire Attack level to ensure its longevity. The outside of the building is made up of floor to ceiling double glazing wrapped in a bronze mesh fire resistant screen while internally the primary material is local timber. The timber floor, ceiling and curved screen are all expressions of Narbethong’s history and the 4.2m high verticals of the timber screen are reminiscent of the beautiful trees found in the region and the Black Spur Forest.

The timber screen also creates a variety of internal spaces including nooks for small group meetings to the perimeter. The primary large gathering space is located in the centre of the building with direct access to the outdoor space to the North. Spaces can be individually heated and cooled.

The new Narbethong Community Hall is designed to celebrate the history and uniqueness of Narbethong and its people as well as create an improved opportunity for income by offering a unique setting and design for events.

The Narbethong Community Hall is a pro bono collaboration between: Emergency Architects, BVN Architecture, Arup, Contour, Rodney Vapp & Associates, BSGM, Douglas and Partners, Rodney Aujard and Associates with the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction Authority, DSE, Murrinidini Shire and the Narbethong Community Hall Committee.


Narbethong Community Hall, B360, Narbethong, Victoria, Australia


RAIA National Award for Public Architecture
RAIA VIC Public Architecture Award
TDA Interior Fitout Commerial Runner up
IDEA Public Space Award High Commendation

Brief Elements

  • New hall with stage and dance floor
  • New toilets
  • Kitchen
  • Showers
  • Information centre
  • Public toilets
  • Children's playground / outdoor space
  • Memorial element in design
  • Gallery space
  • Water catchment
  • Fire fighting water
  • Existing septic system
  • Parking
  • Landscaping


Emergency Architects Australia
Disaster Reconstruction Assistance
Project Manager, Structural, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Hydraulics, Acoustic, Comms and Fire Services
Edwards Moore
Site Superintendent
Building Surveyors
Contour Consultants Australia
Planning Consultants
Douglas Partners
Geotechnical Engineers
Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architects
Rodney Vapp & Associates
Quantity Surveyors
Rodney Aujard & Associates
Land Surveyors
Hedger Constructions