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News — February 4, 2019

BVN appointed to design the Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space Project

BVN’s unique approach to design through collective creativity, plus an inimitable personal understanding of the place will define the new Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space.

Coffs Harbour City Council has announced its plans to create a $76.5 million Cultural and Civic Space in the city and BVN have been appointed to design the project. Through the opportunity to change the landscape in Coffs Harbour, BVN has a wealth of experience working with local government and regional areas to create something that positively impacts the community.

“We recognise the opportunities and challenges of the project,” BVN Principal Matthew Blair said. “The ability to be a catalyst to re-energise the precinct between Harbour Drive and Coffs Creek; to help make a definable civic heart in the middle of town; to work with an engaged, active community with diverse aspirations and needs; and to compose a large, complex brief of many different types of places into a physical manifestation of the idea and identity of Coffs Harbour.”

Beyond the creative capability of BVN, a strong history connects the two. Principal and leader of the project, Matthew Blair grew up in Coffs Harbour and has great knowledge of the town centre and its potential.

Coffs Harbour is my hometown. I can recall when the existing Council Building was completed and I fondly remember events in the old Civic Centre. I wanted to be an architect since I was eight and I’ve always hoped to work on a public project in Coffs Harbour

Matthew Blair, Principal BVN

Matthew will lead the design team alongside Principal Kevin O’Brien and a strong, senior team. This type of senior team is important as the project includes a range of different uses from a museum, gallery, and library to council offices which requires a strong team.

“We have built a skilled, experienced, creative and curious team around Kevin and I. We firmly believe that the best outcomes come from a highly engaged process with our clients and collaborators. Our core purpose is 'collective creativity to design a better future’, which we believe clearly aligns with the aspirations and intent of this project.”

This extraordinary project is built on the idea of civic engagement, community and optimism. We are enthusiastic, curious, skilled and driven to create a superb place for Coffs Harbour and we’re excited to work with Coffs Harbour City Council and all stakeholders to make this happen. This is a once in lifetime opportunity to align the community of Coffs Harbour with its urban assets and it’s a great honour and responsibility to be part of this development.

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