The Waterloo Youth Family Community Centre

11 November 2013 — The Waterloo Youth Family Community Centre has won the Sustainable Architecture: National Award at the 2013 National Architecture Awards.

Not-for-profit group WEAVE (Working to Educate, Advocate and Empower) had resided in the partially converted building for 15 years (the toilets had been taken out) before the City of Sydney held an invite-only competition for its complete conversion in 2008. The brief stated that there be little or no increase in building footprint.

Architects Collins & Turner responded to the challenge with an innovative, sustainable concept that won the competition.

The Waterloo Youth Family Community Centre by Collins & Turner

“The use of recycled materials and LED lighting, in combination with water harvesting, supports low energy use in construction and life cycle,” said the award citation.

“Where steel is used, it is understood separately from the main body of the building for simple demounting or relocation. This steel structure provides shading and a substructure for planting that further shades the building while also making vandalism difficult. This strategy is well employed to form the expression and identity of the building.

“Internal comfort is passively controlled using natural ventilation, exposed thermal mass and an insulated building envelope shaded by the steel canopy structure and planting. The environmental strategies are integral to the performance, appearance and logic of the building, which itself contributes significantly to the social sustainability of the community and place.”

The project also won the Public Architecture: National Award and the Steel Architecture: Colorbon Award.

This year, the National Architecture Awards placed environmental sustainability as a core requirement of all awards.

“The integration of environmental sustainability as a core requirement of all Institute awards program award winners has come to fruition this year, and it was wonderful to see pervasive and sophisticated approaches to sustainability throughout all projects,” said jury chair Shelley Penn.

“A deeper and broader demonstration of sustainable approaches to architecture was revealed in the creation of places generous in their response to ecology, to culture and to society.”

Other sustainability winners were:

  • David Oppenheim Award: West Kimberley Regional Prison – TAG Architects and Iredale Pedersen Hook (See our article WA prison wins inaugural David Oppenheim award at National Architecture Awards)
  • National Commendation: Darling Quarter – FJMT with Aspect Studios, Lend Lease, EGO Group and Davenport Campbell
  • National Commendation: Constance Street Affordable Housing – Cox Rayner Architects
  • National Commendation: (–) Glass House – Charles Wright Architects
  • National Commendation: One One One Eagle Street – Cox Rayner Architects
  • National Commendation: Djakanimba Pavilions – Insideout Architects