The Salvation Army has been in Newtown for over 100 years, providing an anchor for the community over this time. Maintaining its presence in the general area was essential and the site bounded by three roads was an obvious move. The design brief set up some challenges due to the mixed zoning with a close interface with the adjacent residential area. Along with this were some quite interesting functional challenges to establish a mixed use facility on the site.
The building has been constructed as a two storey building to Riddiford St with a broken up façade keeping in context with the current building street frontages. Along the side streets the building is more residential in its form and scale with street facing windows and single storey to the boundary.
Because of the nature of the building functionality the Early Childhood Education Centre had to be located on the first floor. This required the playground to be on the Riddiford St frontage and has been designed to provide a translucent façade that enables the activity of the playground to be seen from the street. In the corner of the street a tower has been located which signals the Salvation Army’s location and acts as a marker on the street as the church entry is on the side street.
The entrances to the other parts of the complex – offices, drop in centre and shop are highlighted and located along Riddiford St with street verandas above. This provides a good connection to the existing context of Newtown and flexibility should the functions change in years to come, these spaces can accommodate a different tenancy mix.