Waterloo Youth Family Community Centre by Collins & Turner with City of Sydney
Public Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects
This small project shows the power of architecture as an agent of transformation. Formerly an abused toilet block, it is now a warm and secure community centre and an energetic hub for local youth.
The design is clever and elegant in the multiple uses it gets out of every element. The wrapped skin is a graffiti-proof cladding, a sunshade, a green wall, a pergola and an exuberant sculptural placemaker. The courtyard is a lightwell, a ventilation device, a secure meeting room and a garden. Retaining elements extend the design language into the ground plane, borrowing scale and impact from the sloping site to enhance its civic stature. The roof is a large space for meetings, for community gardening and art activities, or for a safe and private retreat.
The design effortlessly solves difficult problems in a tough and challenging urban environment. An excellent adaption and reuse, it is utterly delightful and inspiring.
Read the project review by Olivia Hyde for Architecture Australia.