sculptural, serpentine project replaces sydney community center destroyed by fire

sculptural, serpentine project replaces sydney community center destroyed by fire

a community in western sydney sees the completion of the sculptural ‘woodcroft neighbourhood centre,’ a building characterized by an undulating serpentine roof suspended over a glowing, translucent volume. designed by carter williamson architects in collaboration with blacktown city council, the project replaces the original center which had been destroyed by fire in january 2015 by three local youths. the new robust, fire-proof building now stands to connect and engage the socially and culturally diverse community while signaling a transformation of the area through design excellence. the team initially approached the project with consideration for the entire site, orienting the building toward the adjacent lake as well as the woodcroft green — a festival venue. this orientation allows the center to engage with both landscapes, which are deeply valued by the community.

woodcroft neighbourhood centre
images by brett boardman, ben guthrie, alex niass



designed by carter williamson architects together with the blacktown city council, the structure of the woodcroft neighbourhood centre is expressed in brick, concrete, timber and steel — fabricated to be warm, textural and robust. inside, the center performs at a range of scales to accomodate its diverse programming. three core sections are gathered under the distinctive serpentine roof, whose rise and fall reflects the different volumes of interior space. the roofline can be read on many levels — from a continuous, enveloping surface, or as an architectural gesture. its form is drawn from the internal program of rooms and spaces, the rise and fall of their differing volumes of space. voids created by the undulating roofline are infilled with white opalescent polycarbonate that diffuses daylight, and glows at night. 

woodcroft neighbourhood centre



in plan, the woodcroft neighbourhood centre is organized into three primary sections. the offices and a smaller community room face out toward the street while the main hall is oriented toward the lake. these two sections meet at the tall centralized foyer and through-site link, the building’s main circulatory node. between the community room and the collection of offices and consulting rooms, a walled courtyard offers a quiet, intimate outdoor space as an antidote to the center’s larger gathering spaces.

woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre woodcroft neighbourhood centre



project info:


project title: woodcroft neighbourhood centre

architecture: carter williamson architects in collaboration with blacktown city council

location: woodcroft, new south wales, australia

design team: shaun carter, lisa merkesteyn, ben peake, julie niass, tai danh lien

landscape: melissa wilson landscape architects

builder: westbury constructions

completion: june 2019

photography: brett boardman, ben guthrie, alex niass

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