Canvas have been working closely with Wyndham City Council to redevelop the model for community centres in the municipality to create integrated community hubs that both deliver programmed services to the community and provide informal non-programmed space that allow community networks to develop of their own accord. Dianella Community Centre, located in the rapidly growing suburb of Tarneit provides a pilot case for this new hub model.
While the design of the centre addresses the high demand for council services and program in this expanding suburb, it also addresses the demand for non-programmed spaces for developing communities. This is achieved through the provision of considered and generous non-programmed spaces the very heart of the centre, encouraging the community to gather and develop their own networks.
The main foyer is set up as an extension of an external civic space, to the buildings east fronting the town square and commercial centre. The central foyer provides an expression of space that reference the amenity and spirit of Australian vernacular civic architecture from decades past. The approach here is not simply based in nostalgia but rather an intent to elevate our expectations of these community buildings beyond the expressions of construction expediency and architectural gymnastics that have become too common place with this building typology. Within the central foyer, an expression of exposed timber roof structure rhythmically spaces out the functions within this space and is reinforced by the banding of the concrete floor finish. These spaces are punctuated with gathering spaces situated beneath pop up roofs that permit daylight to dress the seating below. The dampening of sound through carpet and ceiling treatments permits an intimacy of conversation between those who might meet in this space and is befitting the intent of this civic sitting room.
The central foyer and the external community civic space are directly connected to the community kitchen for cooking classes, the support of healthy living programs and an occasional social enterprise cafe. A community art studio adjacent to the main foyer space and building entry forecourt allowing permanent and temporary exhibitions to be run from both these locations. The non-programmed external gathering spaces surrounding the north and east of this facility provide opportunities for community gathering independent of programmed activities at this centre and its hours of operation, including a community amphitheatre, BBQ, Picnic facility and sports court.