Crone commenced work on the 2,000sqm development after winning a competitive design process, responding to the City of Canada Bay’s brief to address a growing need for community facilities, services and active open spaces in the area to foster positive interaction between the diverse communities residing in Rhodes and neighbouring suburbs.
The AIA Jury surmised, “The Connection at Rhodes is a noteworthy example of the next generation community building in a productive dialogue with the site and the surrounding public space. Each wing has an intimate way of relating to the external space and bayside location, encouraging privacy, porosity and prospect.”
Our design re-envisions the community hall and civic space typology. Rather than proposing a single building, the design response separates the building into four distinct pavilions which house a variety of programs including an e-resource centre and learning space, digital gallery, multi-purpose and event space, community meeting rooms, training spaces, playgroups, cafe/restaurant.
Crone responded to the varied requirements of each program in relation to views, light, permeability, privacy and flexibility, which informed the arrangement of the pavilions and their external treatment/porosity. All four buildings share consistent, simple material palettes and a common architectural language but each is unique in its design and the internal spaces have their own individual style appropriate to their use.
By separating the program, Crone opened up the site to pedestrian desire lines and created multiple interfaces between the internal and themed external environments and integrated public art. The buildings are arranged in such a way that they create an intimate central events and water play space – a public square in continuous dialogue with all programs of the community precinct and the waterfront. This rich network has created an optimistic, playful, sustainable and more inviting public destination for the Rhodes community.