Joynton Avenue Creative Precinct
Project NameJoynton Avenue Creative Centre in new 'Green Square' Town Centre, Sydney, by Peter Stutchbury Architects.
Photographer DetailsMichael Nicholson
The creative facility occupies the former nurses’ quarters of the the three-storey Esme Cahill Building, which is part of the former South Sydney Hospital. Also included in the newly developed precinct is the Matron Ruby Grant Park, designed by Sprout Landscape Architecture, within the park is the Banga Community Shed. The shed is another Stutchbury designed structure, which will be operated by the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre, and will operate as a ‘repair cafe’, giving workshops on repairing and recycling household items. The community centre will be operated by 107 Projects.
The creative building will house a wellness centre, co-working hot desks, maker's studios and act as a general creative hub. The covered lawn area will be used for fitness activities such as tai-chi and yoga.
Professionals involved in the project were; Peter Stutchbury Architects as designers, Van de Meer Consulting as Engineers, Scuptform as fabricators for the archways, and Lahey Constructions as the projects builders.
The Joynton Avenue Creative Precinct flanks a newly built park with creative community centres. The precinct is a centrepiece for the new town centre of Green Square, the first to be developed in Sydney in over 100 years. The old Banga community shed has been restored to become a new community space, while other facilities include public amenities, artists studios, and a ‘repair cafe’, which runs workshops on repairing household items.
The primary building, which is an addition of the Esme Cahill Building, elegantly and creatively responds to the original structure its builds upon. The seven flat arches that were an important gesture of the original facade have been dramatically extruded to form a large 25 metre verandah, covered by the seven timber vaulted archways. The original facade was inspired by Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi and has been included in a local heritage register. The transformation of the archways form a 2D to a 3D feature is a sensitive response to a historic renovation. Timber has been a major force in the material palette of the project, used as both a utilitarian material in the plywood joinery, and as a grander gesture in the archways. The diversity of the material is celebrated by it’s use in detailing to exterior cladding. The pared back palette also features corrugated copper over the archways, exquisitely detailed and pulled tight with hardwood battens. Copper detailing is a recurring motif through the addition, also forming protective ledges at the east and western ends of the canopy. Glass gutters nestle in between the arches, allowing light fractures to enter, and directing water away. Blackbutt timber was chosen for exterior and interior lining, both for it’s aesthetic and performance. As a class 1 timber, blackbutt has the longevity required for a public building. The timber’s warmth is enhanced by the fragments of light peaking through the glass gutters. The timber also acts as a material connection between the primary building and the community shed.
The extruded archways forming the canopy also extend inwards through the interior. The arched interior roof maintains the feel and cohesive quality of the building as it is entered. The timber lining sits in harmony with the existing timber floorboards, and then blackbutt doors and screens. The vaulted ceiling provided repeated void spaces between floors, along with vaulted skylights for the artist’s studios. Perforated plywood lines the exposed original roof structure, which shelters the newly restored original terrazzo staircase.