Proposed Site – 2016

The following images and ideas are concepts, preliminary ideas designed to spark conversation, discussion and give you a taste of what is possible.

Preliminary concepts of Market Hall, Auditorium and Updated Library. The Pink Outlines the existing buildings – Library, Squash Courts. Click the Image for a High Resolution version.


To create a central area with buildings that work together for the community.

  1. Market Hall along the north edge
  2. Auditorium in the south-west.
  3. Library to the south-east,
  4. Shared Foyer space looking north
  5. Central Outdoor Space, for community oriented events e.g. classic car displays, art & sculpture shows, open air market, garage bands into the Market Hall – a central activity area bounded by the library, market hall and visitor centre
  6. Improved Connectivity of the extended spaces between Tennis Club, Swimming Pool, Five Mile Creek and Woodend Children’s Park for pedestrians and vehicle traffic.

The concept of the “Agora”

The Agora (/ˈæɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is “gathering place” or “assembly”. The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.

Market Hall

  • “Where is this done better?” France, particularly Normandy, which has a climate a bit like Woodend.
  • Solid timber buildings, constructed to high standards,
  • One side of the village square, many uses
The Market Hall “Agora” Concept. Click the Image for a High Resolution version.
The above is the “Agora” Concept a large scale wooden based structure, with enough scale to hold all the market stalls in winter.
The Agora would have strong sustainability cues, with water harvesting capability, as well as presenting a large northern aspect roof orientation for Solar Panels (photo voltaic) to be placed, helping to power market stalls and other activities within the space.
Structurally, the concept of the Market Hall will be wooden in origin, with scale to comfortably house market activity and be a shelter for other uses e.g. buses picking up people to concerts at Hanging Rock etc.


Auditorium / Music Hall

  • Jacky Ogeil and John O’Donnell run the Woodend Winter Arts Festival.
  • This has been a decade-long success, despite the limitations of venues.
  • They dream of a 400 seat venue, with comfortable seats and great acoustics, not just for Festival times but meeting the needs of other events in the area such as school concerts, local community groups and conferences.
  • A stage large enough for dance classes, yoga, choirs etc.

400 people in a theatre implies a foyer space to take them, classes, toilets, bar/cafe at interval. A space this size also needs to be designed to accomodate multiple other uses and be adaptable to community need. A concept like Snape Hall in Essex, United Kingdom meets the above requirements. It was built in the 1960s and has been designed with a timeless appeal, but stringent attention to detail, quality and use, possessing superb acoustic qualities.

The Auditorium / Music Hall concept , using Snape Hall, Essex, United Kingdom as inspiration. Snape Hall was built in the 1960s and has maintained its relevance as a event venue for 50+ years. Click the Image for a High Resolution Version.
Snape Hall, Sussex, United Kingdom is a similar style hall that was built in the 1960's. It has superb acoustics and has a design that is timeless, using wood as the underlying theme.
Snape Hall, Essex, United Kingdom is a similar style hall to that proposed for Woodend, that was built in the 1960s. It has superb acoustics and has a design that is timeless, using wood as the underlying theme.


  • The existing library is well loved and supported by the community. Any work here is aimed at enhancing the space to invite conversation, knowledge sharing and have different aspects to meet different users needs e.g. Small discussion groups, quiet reading with a secluded outlook, classroom style engagement.
  • The foyer/cafe should incorporate a new aspect that looks north, over the central space and toward the sun.
  • Libraries have become outward-looking, community places, with casual seating for book and screen browsing and often a cafe space.
  • There is a compelling case for integrating the Auditorium / Music Hall Foyer with the Library, to make a lively, multi-use community hub

Timber Engineering & Woodend

The idea of a multi-use Auditorium and Market Hall made primarily out of timber is the start of a consistent aesthetic, based on rigorous timber engineering. The Market Hall as the rugged and strong external version, with the Auditorium / Music Hall as the refined, internal design, tied together by the shared use of explicit timber members. Wood, Woodend, the Timber Mill, Black Forest Road – it builds to a valid, discernible imagery that the village can claim as its own.