Woodcroft Neighbourhood Centre

Carter Williamson

Woodcroft Neighbourhood Centre is a civic building to galvanise the culturally diverse Western Sydney community. This multi-purpose community centre reflects the client, Blacktown City Council, and their ambition for an inclusive and iconic centre where lifelong learning, health and wellbeing, recreation and culture can be shared.

Its predecessor was deliberately burnt down in 2015, and the brief to Carter Williamson requested a robust, fireproof building as well as an increased capacity and flexibility of spaces. The new Centre also needed to provide a backdrop and facilities hub for the annual Woodcroft Festival, flexible spaces for different groups, iconic design and greater connection to Woodcroft Lake and Parklands.

The structure is expressed in brick, concrete, timber and steel, crafted in various ways to be warm, textural and robust. Inside, the Centre works at different scales for the various groups using it, often simultaneously. Three core sections are gathered up under the signature serpentine roof, whose rise and fall reflects the different volumes of interior space: offices, an internal courtyard, community room, and main hall for 200 (with commercial kitchen), plus the tall central foyer and through-site link connecting them.

The roofline can be read on many levels: as a continuous form enveloping the various spaces and activities of the Centre, or as an architectural gesture. It is both. Its form was 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.

Beyond core purpose, the Centre offers big gestures to its small community. Essential storage, plants and amenities are housed behind a concrete baffle, reducing noise for residential neighbours. This aligns with a covered veranda connecting street to lake, and the broad lakefront terrace. By night, the roofline is expressed by the warm white glow of its opalescent polycarbonate apron, tracing the serpentine line.

Finishes: Brickworks, Porta Timbers, Austratus, Danpalon. Fittings & Fixtures: Mizu.

Photography: Brett Boardman