Residents of the Australian suburb of Bayswater now have a new community center to enjoy. Designed by Melbourne-based firm K20 Architecture, the Bayswater Early Years Hub is a building that was strategically designed to minimize its impact on the environment via green design, which includes solar power, rainwater harvesting systems and more.

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front entrance of large building with gabled roof and glass facade

At 20,000 square feet, the massive building offers residents a range of services including early learning spaces as well as several health centers. To blend in with the existing residential area, the structure was built with fairly humble features, such as red brick cladding and a gabled roof, which is covered in solar panels.

Related: Green-roofed community center champions sustainable design in London

interior space of community center with seating and tables

cafeteria space with dining tables

It was imperative to the designers to include a functional layout with enough space for multiple services without sacrificing convenience to visitors. Accordingly, the resulting design is a dynamic volume comprised of two U-shaped masses “turning toward the sun,” which gives the project its nickname, Sunflower.

large art room with tables and easels

interior space with narrow vertical glass wall

As one of its primary functions, the center is a space for learning. Therefore, the project includes several learning classrooms that are spacious and well-lit by large windows. Additionally, an expansive courtyard was strategically landscaped to include a variety of greenery as well as adventurous play areas including a sand pit, swings, crawling spaces, slides and bridges. Along the border of these sites, parents and grandparents have several areas to sit down and enjoy the fresh air while the kids run around freely.

outdoor space with natural play space

aerial view of U-shaped building topped with solar panels

From the onset of the project, the architects worked with the local government to ensure that the new structure would be incredibly energy-efficient. With the objective of a 100+ year building lifecycle, improved ecology and reduced environmental impact, the designers added several sustainable features to the building. The roof boasts an array of solar panels, which generate a substantial amount of clean energy for the building. The roof is also equipped with a rainwater harvesting system. Baywater uses several passive features to further reduce energy use, such as ample natural light.

+ K20 Architecture

Via ArchDaily

Images via K20 Architecture