Save the River Pavilion, Fairfield Park

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City of Yarra is about to demolish a significant portion of the important River Pavilion to Fairfield Park to build a large storage shed – help us convince them to reconsider.

This is an important piece of our modern architectural heritage, carefully designed by significant local architects to support the adjacent bluestone amphitheatre while maintaining public space and views to the river.

It is being demolished against the advice of council’s own heritage advisor to make way for a large storage shed for the local canoe club.

The INCC is a much-loved local organisation who need & deserve better facilities but this is not a good solution. We tried to convince council to reconsider with no success. City of Yarra have now granted themselves a planning permit to demolish but we are hopeful there is still time for a better solution.

The River Pavilion has been nominated to the Victorian Heritage Register, it is essential that council does not proceed with demolition while the current Heritage Victoria processes are underway.

‘THE RIVER PAVILION’ was originally commissioned by the City of Northcote as a facility to support the adjacent amphitheatre. Completed by Dennis Carter & Paul Couch of Carter Couch in the 1980s, it is an important public work by this practice. Paul Couch worked alongside Robin Boyd for many years and was involved in some of Australia’s most significant Modern buildings. There is currently little published information on Couch but there is widespread interest within the architectural community and a book on his work is currently underway.

The River Pavilion is located between the Fairfield Amphitheatre & the Pipe Bridge in Fairfield Park, have a look if you are in the area. This is a beautiful part of the river & it is easy to see what damage would be done by replacing a public lookout with a storage shed. Given the current Covid situation we will need sheltered outdoor public spaces more than ever.

Please help by signing the petition to Yarra City Council, showing your support for keeping this important building and asking them to:

  1. Follow the advice of their own heritage advisor & reconsider the demolition, better options are available
  2. Postpone any works until the building’s current nomination to the Victorian Heritage Registry has been assessed (the Heritage Victoria will meet to review the nomination on September 21, 2020)
  3. At the very least, if all our attempts to prevent demolition fail, relocate the rooftop pavilion structure within Fairfield Park rather than putting it in a bin. Buildings should not be disposable    

Please also share this petition in the hope of attracting more attention to this unfortunate decision, it is not too late to find a better solution for everyone.

We understand this is not the biggest issue in our community right now, but we can still try for better outcomes in all that we do. We believe in removing conflict from these issues, there are no villains here, just misunderstandings. Yarra City Council staff & Councillors want good outcomes for their community. The INCC is a much-loved local club run by hard-working volunteers who deserve better facilities. Demolition is unnecessary and a much better outcome is possible – retain and improve the existing structure to benefit the club, the amphitheatre & the wider community.

Further information & more photos by Tom Ross are available here.