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Community spaces come up gold in design awards

A transformed historic community centre in Woolloomooloo and a state-of-the-art early learning centre in Darlinghurst have both been honoured with prestigious government design awards.

The City of Sydney community spaces were named gold winners as part of the 2017 GOV Design Awards, which celebrate design projects in the government sector.

GOV Design Awards judges said the gold awards for the two City of Sydney buildings, “Celebrate the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration was given for material selection, technology, light and shadow.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the awards recognised the value of great design for community buildings.

“This is a win for our inner-city communities and for our fantastic City teams and partners on these projects who have created brilliant facilities,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’re focused on creating wonderful spaces and facilities that are designed and constructed around the needs of our residents and visitors.”

The Juanita Nielsen Community Centre is housed in a heritage listed former warehouse in Woolloomooloo.

Built in 1888 in Victorian Regency style, the building was named after local activist and conservationist Juanita Nielsen when it was converted to a community centre in 1983.

Commissioned by the City of Sydney, the recent project was carried out by Neeson Murcutt Architects to create a more inclusive and vibrant space.

“The Juanita Nielsen centre has become a favourite gathering place for locals, making it a fitting tribute to its namesake,” the Lord Mayor said.

The East Sydney Early Learning Centre at 277 Bourke Street opened in 2016 following extensive remodelling of the 1920s warehouse space by Andrew Burges Architects.

It is now a state-of-the-art childcare and community centre featuring indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a striking rooftop play area and interactive digital classroom technology.

A new private bridge over Berwick Lane connects the centre to the upgraded John Birt Memorial Playground.

Source: City of Sydney

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