Yarrila Place – Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Centre, Australia 

Delivering a dynamic landmark community centre in regional Australia 

Yarrila Place is designed to meet the vision set out in the City of Coffs Harbour’s City Centre Master Plan for a cultural and civic space encompassing a new regional gallery, museum and library among other community uses. Yarrila Place also encompasses administration offices for City staff. 

Key information

Coffs Harbour, Australia 
Date started:
Completion date:
Client type:
real estate
Main services:
project management, design management, procurement

Creating a dynamic community hub 

The City of Coffs Harbour’s cultural and civic space, known as Yarrila Place, combines arts, people, technology and culture to create a vibrant and multi-purpose community hub.  

City of Coffs Harbour set out to revitalise and modernise its library, museum and gallery offering, creating a distinctive new building suited to the area’s locality. The landmark building features a new and larger Harry Bailey Memorial Library and Yarrila Arts and Museum. Yarrila Place incorporates essential elements that highlight, celebrate and pay respect to the deep history, culture and contemporary life of the traditional custodians of the Coffs Harbour region, the Gumbaynggirr people.  

The centre implements low embodied energy construction systems and materials. It also uses solar energy and harnesses the climate to improve the quality of spaces through natural ventilation and considered solar design.  

An integrated approach 

We were engaged to provide project management and design management services from the schematic design phase through to the handover and commissioning of the building.  

We contributed to the development of the proposed procurement strategy, working with the City to mitigate risks and align with their key driver of budget certainty. This was prior to construction and early contractor involvement to enhance buildability and value management. We also managed the approval process, including response to agency and public submissions, and led all phases of the state significant development application.  

Our integrated approach to completion and handover of the building resulted in a reduced overall operational commissioning programme from 12 weeks to four weeks, enabling the City to undertake further fit out works to the gallery and café, as well as early operational commissioning activities prior to practical completion.  

Yarrila Place opened in September 2023 and was completed within budget, despite being delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

A catalyst for change in the community 

The project offers an innovative and sustainable development that will provide many benefits to the local community, including:    

• cultural precinct and cultural tourism activation opportunity

• lifelong learning, educational opportunities and improved literacy

• social wellbeing and access to information and connection 

• economic benefit to artists, creative industries and service sector

• contributing to a vibrant and active city centre. 

Yarrila Place – Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Centre, Australia photo credit: Seen Australia

For further information contact:

Hamish Rolls

Hamish Rolls
Senior Project Manager