We are excited to announce our appointment to design the highly-anticipated Vineyard community hub in Greater Sydney’s Vineyard, said to be the first of its kind in the Greater Sydney area.
The project team are setting out to transform the area into a boundary-pushing, experiential community hub, taking inspiration from its semi-rural surroundings and drawing on the best natural elements the region has to offer.
Located on the corner of McGrath and Windsor Roads, the lush regeneration site spans 6,400 sqm and will employ a highly-considered approach to placemaking. The two-level community hub is due to receive a childcare centre, community playground, a gym, a carpark, two food and beverage outlets with an oversized alfresco area, and a myriad of open spaces for the public to enjoy.
What is unique about the community hub is not merely its amenities, but its ties to place and nature as it celebrates the site’s roots as a plant nursery. The vibrant, fantastical design response looked to the local surrounds and took inspiration from the likes of the Grounds of Alexandria to bring Vineyard its very own vibrant community hub, says i2C Project Designer Maryanne Daher.
“Sydney’s CBD is bustling with family and youth-centric spaces for communities to congregate, but Vineyard and surrounding areas have not yet seen a space that keeps up with the residential developments in the area.
“Given its location in Greater Sydney, the design plans had to respond to fire and flooding requirements, however we didn’t want to compromise on bringing a whimsical feel to the centre. We envisage the space to have a character of its own; a true destination for locals and visitors,” she said.
To drive a sense of place to the proposed development site commemoration was key in the design process, says Project Architect Dino Delotavo
“The design looks to commemorate the site’s previous use, so we’ve chosen large man-made tree-like canopies, and working hand in hand with landscaping experts Lark Collective, these will be adorned with seasonal florals. Rustic and artistic walkways will nod to the site’s past with cascading vines and shapes within the outdoor walkways that are reminiscent of the nursery, like birds and butterflies,” he said.
From street view, passers-by will see barn-like structures, a welcoming reminder of the site’s former use. Verdant biophilic design will be enjoyed by visitors and onlookers alike, with planted green walls providing vibrant pops of colour. The nature-driven approach will be further exemplified with natural materials like charred timber and cobblestone being utilised throughout, and stained glass will feature sporadically.
The design is also driven by a sustainable approach to landscaping. A number of existing trees will be retained on the site, and where possible, plants will be native and endemic, and tree planting will be done on the street frontages in deep soil planting beds. This will provide habitat, species diversity and shading/cooling of pavement across the site. The paving chosen for the project will be laid with locally-sourced bricks, along with recycled hardwood timbers as feature elements. Furthermore, eco-friendly grass pavers have been chosen over bitumen for the car park, which allows rainwater to permeate through the soil and prioritises green spaces over hard surfaces.
In parallel, innovative water-saving landscaping measures will see that external pathways and paving will be graded towards gardens, to utilise runoff where possible. Utilising water-wise native plants that are suited to the Hawkesbury growing conditions will be key in sustaining the low-maintenance landscape.
In addition to the government mandated safety measures an area such as Vineyard requires, every consideration was taken throughout the design process to adhere to safety requirements. i2C Architects has ensured the design places the children’s play spaces away from car parking and residential spaces, and raised recreation areas are given priority for both the effect of presence and flooding necessities.
The project is due to receive development approval by the end of the year, and construction will commence shortly after.
Image Credit: Ingot Digital