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Waterloo Youth Center / Collins and Turner

2014-01-08 13:17:25   Source:ARCHINA

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Architects: Collins and Turner
Location: Sydney NSW, Australia
Area: 252.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Richard Glover, Paul Bradshaw, Josef Nalevansky

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From the architect. Commissioned by City of Sydney, the revitalised building is a dynamic new piece of community architecture.

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The building has been transformed into a welcoming counseling facility and communal workspace for Weave.

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As the plants mature and grow across the canopy, the building will gradually merge with its park setting, becoming an abstract and sculptural green land-form that punctuates the park boundary and visually merges with the adjacent tree canopies.

The building is also partially submerged in its setting, as a result of subtle adjustments in the adjacent landscape levels, reducing its apparent size.

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The building design takes inspiration from a number of diverse sources. amongst them, the grass covered iron-age forts of Celtic Wales; the aviary at London Zoo designed by Cedric Price; and the work of John Krubsack an american naturalist who experimented with growing and grafting plants into shapes, creating the first chair that was grown rather than made.

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The refurbished building has additionally become an extension of its landscape setting, combining architecture and horticulture in a unique way to create a new sculptural form that enlivens the southern area of the Waterloo Oval site.

Where possible, elements of the existing amenities block structure have been retained and re-used in the new plan, now focussed around a new central courtyard and crowned by a planted roof structure.

The landscaped roof garden is veiled by a dramatic steel canopy structure that has been designed to support a variety of native climbing and fruiting plants. The canopy is star shaped in plan – the points of the star mark the entry and newly constructed bay window areas in the four corners of the building.



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The interior is arranged in a pin-wheel plan around the central courtyard, and includes a largely open and flexible plan with workspaces for 14 staff.

A reception area, two counselling rooms, a chill out room, managers office, kitchenette, and a small facility for a visiting general practitioner complete the program. Integrated joinery elements and staff amenities subdivide the space and functions.

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