2013 National Architecture Awards: Public

Waterloo Youth Family Community Centre by Collins & Turner with City of Sydney Public Architecture: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

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.


Collins and Turner
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Penny Collins, Huw Turner, Lucy Humphrey, Markus Bruenjes, Sam Carroll, Chris Thomas, Narelle Naumcevski, Marcia Morley
BCA consultant Access Australia
Builder ProjectCorp
Certifier Private Certifiers Australia
Environmental consultant Team Catalyst
Hydraulics Whipps Wood Consulting
Landscape architecture and urban design Terragram
Lighting and electrical engineers Steensen Varming
Quantity surveyor Wilde and Woollard
Stormwater Whipps Wood Consulting
Structure Arup Sydney
Site Details
Location Elizabeth Street,  Waterloo,  Sydney,  NSW,  Australia
Project Details
Status Built
Category Public / cultural
Type Community centres
Client name Weave
Website weave.org.au



Published online: 7 Nov 2013
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2013
Images: Josef Nalevansky, Richard Glover


Architecture Australia, November 2013

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