The design success of a community centre can often be measured in how well the community embraces and takes ownership of the building and how much it contributes to a community’s identity. DesignInc extended and redesigned the Glenwood Community hub and the positive reviews are in:
“Great to see a place where the local Glenwood community can come together and use the resources provided; especially for young families and busy people who need a way to connect and communicate with others close to where they live.” – Harvest Hub.
Blacktown City Council engaged DesignInc in 2012 to expand its existing Glenwood community hall into a multipurpose facility. The facility now caters for groups providing health and well-being support, recreation, business, cultural activities and learning facilities, designed to appeal to families and youth. Multifunctional spaces include a banquet hall, multi-use hall, activity rooms and meeting rooms, and have the flexibility to accommodate the changing demographics of the area.
“Compared to some new community buildings where the needs are not crystallised yet, the brief was clearly defined,” says Project Designer Sándor Dúzs. “As an extension of an existing community hub, the project’s requirements were determined by the experience of the original building.” Other existing and recently completed community centres within the Blacktown City Council district also provided feedback as to the required functional needs.
The DesignInc team, comprising Sandeep Amin (Project Director), Les Lloyd (Project Architect), Sándor Dúzs (Project Designer), Harry Broekhuis (Project Leader) and Jay Rim (Senior Interior Designer), regularly met with the council’s stakeholder groups, which gave the local community an avenue and opportunity to express their needs and wishes for the building. “Our urban outcome was to provide a fully accessible social hub, integrated into the streetscape and one that the community would be proud of,” Sándor explains. “The design intent was to keep as much of the original building as possible, clearly indicating the difference between the old and the new along an internal street leading to the garden.”
A ribbon-like canopy defines the front of Glenwood Community Centre and extends to each of the entrances to unite the old and new buildings into one coherent structure. DesignInc maintained the yellow brick face of the original centre, and used a lightweight-steel structure with painted fibre cement rain-screen cladding for the new building. Rust was chosen as a warm, vibrant and earthy colour for the interior and exterior, and to complement the surrounding landscape.
The old and new structures are also delineated inside, separated by a connecting circulation spine that incorporates a café next to the main entrance and function hall lobby and that leads to an outdoor barbeque area. An exhibition space adjacent to the main hall features a rock garden with a series of sculptures entitled Cultivations by visual artist Nerine Martini. Nerine conducted workshops with local high school students, Girl Guides and an Indian women’s group to identify plants significant to them, and those selected demonstrate the cultural diversity of the Glenwood community.
The extension to Glenwood Community Hub is designed to take advantage of the orientation, solar access, sun shading and natural ventilation to improve thermal performance and reduce energy consumption. However, the façade of the north- and carpark-facing community hall posed a challenge as its position caused acoustic, view and heat issues. DesignInc introduced a simple yet multifaceted solution to resolve all three issues: the art garden with glass louvres in front and a concrete wall behind. “The art garden provides a consistent, high-quality outdoor visual background; the pure off-form concrete wall offers acoustic separation for the neighbouring residential properties; and the lower, louvred section of the glass wall allows cool air inside from the art garden’s shaded, pebble-covered area,” Sándor explains.
Glenwood Community Hub opened its doors in 2015, with community members using the new building for parties, formal functions, casual events, children’s sports and activities.
Sandeep Amin – Project Director
Les Lloyd – Project Architect
Sandor Duzs – Project Designer
Harry Broekhuis – Project Leader
Jay Rim – Senior Interior Designer
Architect DesignInc Sydney Pty Ltd
Structural and Civil Woolacotts Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd
Mechanical / Electrical / Hydraulic / Wet Fire / ESD Erbas & Associates Pty Ltd
Acoustics Acoustic Logic Consultancy Pty Ltd
Access AE&D ACCESS Pty Ltd
Landscape Ray Fuggle & Associates Pty Ltd
Public Art Nerine Martini
Traffic Taylor Thomson Whitting (NSW) Pty Ltd
Quantity Surveyor Altus Page Kirkland
Contractor Builtform Constructions Pty Ltd