Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square

Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square

“The Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square is an extraordinary melting pot of different cultures, services and activities. The Council aspired for the project to be the ‘living room’ for the city, and I’d like to think of the whole building, including its urban square and its community library, as a large living space, ultimately building a strong sense of community within Greater Dandenong.”

Carey Lyon, Director of Lyons

Located in the physical heart of the city, the Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square is the symbolic urban heart of Dandenong, designed to unite a wonderfully diverse community. The project includes a civic square and multi-level building that incorporates council chambers, a regional library, council administration offices, future growth areas for council offices, car parking and retail. The site gives functional public space to the community and allows council programs to reach their full potential. The precinct was designed to align with the Revitalizing Central Dandenong strategy, a project focused on the transformation of the community. Our design represents a commitment to a progressive and sustainable future for the city. The project truly reflects the nuances of the multicultural community of Dandenong.

  • Sector


  • Key Lyons contacts

    Carey Lyon
    James Wilson

  • Collaborators

    Rush Wright Associates

  • Client

    City of Greater Dandenong

  • Location

    225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong VIC 3175

  • Traditional Land

    Located on the traditional lands of the Bunurong people

  • Size

    14,450 square metres

  • Sustainability

    5 Star Green Star Design

  • Project status

    Complete, 2014


    • 2015 Australian Institute of Architects, VIC Chapter (Public Architecture New)
    • 2015 Planning Institute Australia, Great Place Award
    • 2015 Planning Institute Australia, Urban Design Large Scale (Commendation)

Comfort, safety, multifunctionality: the ingredients of a thriving civic space

A successful, modern and functional civic space requires balance; the balance of function and comfort, multifunctionality and intimacy, safety and practicality. The Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square strikes this balance to meet the needs of the community and the amenity of the council services. Marked with splashes of colour and an urban park feel, the Civic Square and Municipal Building make a welcoming and intimate precinct. The design is the outcome of a series of detailed analytical studies that focused on the appropriate levels and arrival points into the square. The level of the Civic Square is set to coincide with the first level of the Council Offices building, allowing level access to the square from the street. The levels throughout the design create diverse and distinct spaces, including room for retail, large events, cafes and a micro plaza. To create a thriving civic precinct we designed the Civic Square to link to the railway and undertook roadwork nearby to slow traffic. Diverse seating and gathering opportunities embed the Civic Square in the function of the city. It serves many cultures who value the opportunity to sit in larger groups and socialise in a truly urban setting.

with landscape

Enriching cultural

Making public spaces
for everyone

Embedding council services in the fabric of the city

The Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square improves community access to council services, blending them with recreational spaces to embed them in the fabric of the city. Framing the plaza, the multilevel building incorporates council chambers, a regional library, council administration offices, future growth areas for council offices, car parking, retail and cafes. The library faces onto the square with the government services building adjacent and the council chambers looking towards the old town hall. This layout ensures the precinct is connected to the rest of the city and allows multiple entry points to the square and council services. These connections are emphasised by maximising the level of glazing and transparency to all elevations of the building, providing visibility into the council buildings. Located over two levels the library is intended to be ‘the living room of the city.’ 

Highly visible and accessible from the Civic Square, the library is a significant urban maker with extended opening hours and diverse resources. The planning of the office levels locates the enclosed spaces to the centre of the plan to maximise staff access to offices, workstations and natural light. On Level 4 an atrium space creates breakout meeting areas and lounge spaces within the interconnected two-level office environment. The office space around the central atrium is flexible and accommodates a range of different fit-out models for the council. A major void between Level 3 and Level 2 along the Civic Square, enhances the sense of interconnection across the two library levels. The success of these strategies is evident by the dramatic increase of community visitations to the building since opening. 

“All of the facility components are precisely what Council, as client, expected of this project reflecting the capacity of Lyons – to meet if not exceed any interpretation of the brief; to apply its patience, creativity and communication skills in working with diverse Library stakeholders; to develop an understanding of, and deliver solutions that satisfy community need; and, to have created a design and built form that that will be enjoyed and celebrated for many years to come.”

John Bennie PSM, Chief Executive Officer of Greater Dandenong City Council

Key Contacts

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