Within our suburbs and regional townships the police station is an important piece of civic infrastructure. In the rebuild of Marysville post the devastation of the 2009 fires this humble station was pivotal to the re-establishment and reformation of the community.
The project required a high level of community engagement to meet the intense expectations that came with the challenge of the rebuild. It demanded that the architecture, in forming the future, drew upon the somewhat illusive character of the township as it has preferred to be remembered by its members. The material choice in particular the reliance on timber (counter to the low maintenance brick normally associated with the VP) recalls the local timber industry, the surrounding forests and the heritage of timber buildings that were most strongly associated with Marysville’s built past, now lost. Additionally, at the scale of the township, the new station is an act of urbanism. In combination with the Marysville Community Center it completes the regenerated Marysville Heart, a public recreation space in the center of the town. The gentle and semi-transparent edge of the station is instrumental in creating links between people, place and landscape.
The expression of the police as a positive force, community guardian more than law enforcer, was achieved through the arrangement of program and the tectonics. Exploiting the site’s dual frontage – to both the Main Street and the southern edge of the Marysville Heart parkland – the most active aspects of the program were strung along these edges to provide a visual exchange between the police and community. The use of the Radcon timber layers on the facade to balance transparency with some privacy. The long low form presents modestly to the park and the tapered form of the entry verandah nudges the street while maintaining the community’s keenly desired view line into the park back-grounded by the silhouette of the Edgar and Kitchener Mountains. Often only staffed by a single police officer the view lines through the interior enable the monitoring of the reception from deep within the staff amenities.