Sydney-based architectural firm Carter Williamson Architects has completed the Woodcroft Neighborhood Center, a civic building that unites the culturally diverse Western Sydney community. Designed to replace the former municipal building that was burned down in 2015, the new fireproof structure is an inspiring landmark for the neighborhood. Crafted with sustainability in mind, the multipurpose building follows passive solar principles and includes a north-facing photovoltaic array and a rainwater harvesting system with 50,000-liter underground tanks.
Commissioned by the Blacktown City Council, the Woodcroft Neighborhood Center was created to usher in a new type of civic architecture that promotes inclusivity and resilience while catering to a wide range of ages and a diverse set of community groups. The building comprises four sections — office space, smaller community rooms, a courtyard and a main hall for 200 people with a commercial-scale kitchen — organized around a tall central foyer and through-site link. The building will also serve as a backdrop and facilities hub for the annual Woodcroft Festival.
Carter Williamson Architects drew inspiration from the landscape and the site’s history as a former brick factory. The community center is constructed from a robust palette of brick, timber and steel. Expanses of glazing strengthen the building’s connections to Woodcroft Lake and Parklands. An eye-catching serpentine roof infilled with white opalescent polycarbonate tops the building. The roofline undulates in response to the interior spaces; the roof rises above the center hall for lofty ceilings and dips downward in the private areas to create a sense of intimacy.
“Creating a magnetic, gregarious space that can be embraced by all, the centre is designed to be kind to neighbours, with storage facilities positioned as acoustic baffles along the walls closest to nearby homes,” the architects explained. “This allows Woodcroft Community Centre to maintain its bold design and stature, which aids in its goal to galvanise and bring together local communities, whilst not negatively impacting surrounding residents. It’s clear Woodcroft Neighbourhood Centre has succeeded, already embraced by the local community, a contemporary icon of Woodcroft, loved by all.”
Images via Carter Williamson Architects