Springvale Community Hub Photography by John Gollings
Landscape, Projects

Springvale Community Hub

Nestled within the vibrant and multicultural heart of Melbourne’s South East, the municipal of Springvale has long been a centre of local fellowship and cooperation.
Architect
Lyons Architects
Landscape Architect
Rush Wright Associates (RWA)
Photography
John Gollings
Product
Austral Bricks 65mm Clay Paver
POSTED
09.09.2021

When it came to designing the Springvale Community Project, landscape architect Michael Wright of Rush Wright Associates noted the importance of creating a space that was worthy of such an exemplar community.

“The landscape brief was to create a park responding to the vibrancy and diversity of the local Springvale community,” says Michael. “We saw our role as creating a design that was forward-thinking and also acknowledged the extraordinary community strength that existed locally, and which grew from post-war migration.”

Springvale Community Hub Photography by John Gollings

Collaborating with Lyons Architects, the four-hectare site, located on Springvale Road, will accommodate the civic infrastructure for a new library, community centre and repurposing of the old Springvale City hall as a community venue. The landscape surrounding the project features public gardens, play areas and outdoor performance spaces, all near public transport and providing an attractive and accessible recreational space for local residents and beyond. 

“We saw the landscape as a way to create collective pride and community joy,” says Michael. “A radiant experience of colour and togetherness that hadn’t quite been done before.”

Springvale Community Hub Photography by John Gollings

“The design became a collection of distillations drawn from the local experience and the Melbourne suburbs as a treasure trove of cultural memory. The white handrails of brick veneer houses became a key motif, enlarged to form a central ‘gazebo’ and used throughout as a kind of collective thread.”

Natural, hardy and statement-making materials, like brick, “entered the conversation early, as one way to connect to over 70 years of history in the built environment and the colours, shapes and forms of the community experience of living together. Brick conveys aspirations of wealth, health and happiness in the suburban dreamings of many Australian cities.”

The precinct, which is part of the 20-year program of renewal and revitalisation within the community, was centred around a significant strand of remnant red gum trees, with the importance of the surrounding landscape inspiring the design. Drawing on the rich, primary colours of the main building, a series of bright pathways weave throughout the site, encouraging visitors to take in the vibrant surrounds as they move from area to area. 

Springvale Community Hub Photography by John Gollings

Austral Bricks clay pavers were used as a consistent connecting thread, creating the primary link between the spaces. “They are patterned so that each brick has its own place, creating a large pavement artwork that centres on the arrival spaces of the main building,” says Michael. “The colours create a feeling of naturalness and belonging to the earth below, and this is part of the reason why we chose them.” 

A true example of the diversity and abundance of culture in the surrounding community, the Springvale Precinct is particularly suited to post-pandemic living. Its large, open spaces replete with areas for active sport, kids play for all ages, spaces for adults, power and WiFi – makes it the ultimate are to work and play in. 

“As public space becomes so vital in our cities, the Springvale space offers one with the lot,” says Michael. “It creates open parkland and civic space, recreation and quiet spaces, active sport and retreat, and on every side there’s a different face and personality - a true diversity of experience and possibility.”  

“We saw the landscape as a way to create collective pride and community joy”

Michael Wright
Rush Wright Associates
Springvale Community Hub Photography by John Gollings

“We saw the landscape as a way to create collective pride and community joy”

Michael Wright
Rush Wright Associates
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