Knox City Council Operations Centre, VIC

The purpose-built Knox City Council Operations Centre delivers a home base for councils’ maintenance teams and their administrative functions. With substantial over the past number of years, the existing centre accommodated a number of functions outside the scope of the facilities’ initial intended purpose. To design a flexible hub that adapted to the changing nature of Knox City Council’s services and the multitude of functions it supports was the central challenge for our design team.

To develop a design brief, peckvonhartel facilitated engagement workshops and interviews with end-users and key stakeholders, producing a ‘functional needs analysis’ to inform the design brief. Understanding the workflows between each department, auditing their storage needs and examining their operational processes deepened our understanding of the facility’s day-to-day function, enabling our designers to develop an evidence-based design strategy and rationale that resonated with the council’s maintenance crews and their administrative support teams.

The development of a master plan for the entire facility was essential to its operational success and extended the proposed scope of the design from a two-floor built form to include the compound behind it. Working within a short time programme for concept and design development, a series of prototypes and conceptual site studies mapped the physical reality of the site against its operational requirements and enabled a preferred master plan to be developed, presented and adopted.

Leading the consultant team, peckvonhartel designed a facility that responds to the changing needs of maintenance crews, accommodating vehicle turning circles, providing isolated areas for vehicle wash down, contaminated material disposal and maximising the car parking opportunity for the fleet of vehicles. Creating a future-ready operations hub, the planning captures ambitious sustainability requirements with high-performance technology, including rainwater harvesting and treatment, solar power, high-performance glazing and electrical charging for fleet vehicles.