Prahran Town Hall

Our vision

'To establish Prahran Town Hall as an iconic cultural and community facility, attracting locals and visitors alike.
We'll nurture and showcase creative talent, celebrate community life, build economic vibrancy and help position Stonnington as a creative city."

Project overview

Project type Major improvement works
Project value $29.1 million
Architect Williams Ross Architects
Project manager  Root Partnerships
Builder TBA

About the project

The Prahran Town Hall reimagining is an ambitious $29.1 million plan to breathe new life into this iconic building and create a community place of celebration and learning that will stand the test of time.

When complete, the building interior will be remodelled to accommodate:

  • a new generation library over two levels,
  • a state-of-the-art customer service centre, and
  • activity rooms, function areas and spaces for small and large celebrations.

Modern touches such as better lighting, improved accessibility and the latest digital technology are integral to the project - to meet the expectations of the community now and into the future.  

The centrepiece is a glass-topped atrium, flooding the building with light and exposing magnificent period detail long hidden from view.

The majestic heritage facades of Chapel and Greville streets will remain unchanged.

Project timeline

TBA Prahran Town Hall reopens 
2021 Construction begins
2021 Council appoints builder 
2021 Construction tender advertised 
Late-2020 

Prahran Customer Services office opens at the Chatham Street end of Prahran Square.

Prahran Library opens at the Wattle Street end of Prahran Square.

June 2020 

Council support temporary relocation of Prahran Library to the Wattle Street end of Prahran Square.

Council support temporary relocation of Prahran Customer Services to Chatham Street end of Prahran Square.

March 2020 Prahran Library and customer services office close* 
Early-2020 Detailed designs finalised
2018-2019  Design development 
March 2018  Council endorse Prahran Town Hall redevelopment plans and scope 
December 2016  Williams Ross Architects appointed principal design consultant 
March 2016 Council support redeveloping Prahran Town Hall as a community and creative hub.
 2016 Staff move out of Prahran Town Hall to new administration centre in Malvern 
 2015 Feasibility Study completed for future use of Prahran Town Hall

* Prahran Library and customer service office close earlier than planned due to COVID-19.

Funding

Council is committed to returning this iconic heritage building to the community and has allocated $29.1 million to its transformation.

The Victorian Government's Living Libraries Infrastructure Program has contributed $750,000 to the library rebuild.

Low interest loan secured

The City of Stonnington has successfully secured a low-interest loan for $10,000,000 under the Victorian Government's Community Infrastructure Loans Scheme.

Repayment of the loan is over 15 years from the date of first drawdown, freeing up City of Stonnington reserves to fund other much-needed community projects.

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A look at the spaces

A new generation library

We're moving the library out of the old City Hall and into a purpose-built contemporary space, nearly double the size and over two levels. Enter from Greville Street to the new generation Claude Ullin* Library, a place of community an life-long learning.

Gone are the days when a library was just a place for books - our new library will be a place of gathering, socialising, relaxing, activity and learning. An inclusive space the whole community can enjoy.

The new library boasts dedicated spaces for reading, study, collaborating, engaging and for children's activities.

The original heritage reading room on the first floor will be reclaimed by the Claude Ullin Library. Heritage bookcases lining the walls will be put back into service and the impressive 30-metre long space, with its soaring ceilings, will be restored.

Throughout the library, period features will be revealed and integrated with modern design elements and conveniences, such as comfortable furnishings, air conditioning, quality lighting, and technology stations.

*The name of the new library, Claude Ullin, is currently being advertised in accordance with the City of Stonnington standard public building naming procedure.

Premium function spaces

We're creating function spaces to suit nearly every occasion. From large scale celebrations to intimate events we have rooms to cater.

The magnificent City Hall and old Town Hall will be perfect for staging creative, performance and community events attracting locals and visitors to the area.

A collection of smaller rooms contained within the building offer a unique setting for business meetings, dinners, art and craft activities and other creative pursuits.

A place of celebration

The City Hall is being returned as a place of celebration and community, with its period finishes revealed and honoured.

This grand hall will become a Stonnington venue of choice for large community events and activities, and the versatile space will be a perfect place for a unique wedding reception, corporate event or family celebration.

The Atrium

The light-filled atrium, with its glass roof soaring 15-metres above, is the heart of the Town Hall.

Spill out from the library to read a book, enjoy a coffee or chat with friends.

Having direct access to several of the surrounding rooms, the atrium will be the perfect space for pre-event canapes, or can be used as a standalone function area.

Your questions answered

Why reimagine the Prahran Town Hall?

Prahran Town Hall is one of Stonnington’s most iconic buildings and since opening in the late 1800s has served the community well as the centre for local government in the area.

In 2015, City of Stonnington staff based at the town hall relocated to the new Stonnington City Centre on Glenferrie Road in Malvern, leaving behind the Prahran Library, Customer Service Centre and some venue spaces for public hire.

A study the same year identified Prahran Town Hall’s potential as a community and cultural precinct, incorporating community spaces and an expanded Prahran Library.

The town hall is now in a state of decline with empty and under-utilised spaces, dated facilities and a library that is at capacity.

What will the project achieve?

This project will: 

  • transform the Prahran Library into a new generation library that supports life-long learning,
  • create flexible community spaces for performances, functions and activities, that respond to current and future needs,
  • return the main hall to a place for community celebration,
  • revitalise Functions on Chapel, increasing its accessibility and appeal as a function venue, and
  • preserve and showcase stunning heritage features throughout the building. 

Will the town hall be accessible?

Yes.

We take inclusiveness and accessibility seriously, and great care has been taken to make the building as accessible as possible.

Heritage buildings are not known for their accessible features, with narrow corridors and stairs making moving through the building difficult for some.

This will not be the case for the Prahran Town Hall.

Corridors will be widened, ramps installed, a Changing Places facility built and a new lift added to give people with a disability access to the upper level.

Every opportunity to improve accessibility has been taken, ensuring Prahran Town Hall is genuinely a place for everyone.

Galleries

Take a look at Prahran Town Hall - how it looked in the past, what it looks like now and artist impressions of how it will look once restored.

View the plans

Floor plan - ground floor

PTH - Floor Plan ground floor.jpg

 

Download Floor plan - ground floor(PDF, 1MB)


Floor plan - first floor

PTH - Floor Plan first floor.jpg

 

Download Floor plan - first floor(PDF, 786KB)

Location

180 Greville Street, Prahran   View Map

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