The Phoenix Youth Centre was designed to create an integrated youth hub, where young people can both participate in programs and access relevant services. The Centre contains social, workshop and training spaces for young people of different cultural backgrounds and office spaces for agencies that provide services for young people. The existing former 1940’s Air Raid Precaution building on Buckley Street, was adapted for reuse as the main program spaces for youth activities. The nature of the building with a large hall space and concrete bunker leant itself to the new youth uses. These include an auditorium space for performances and large youth events, the concrete bunker which became a recording studio and the main program space for socialising and study. A new 2 storey building at the rear of the existing building houses the agencies such as health, counselling and legal services for young people. Performance and arts spaces are incorporated into the existing Air Raid Shelter building. Western Edge arts has a permanent art space in the entry area for exhibitions, while the old bunker is used as a recording studio and a larger performance space for youth and community events.
A key vision of the Centre is to provide the highest of environmentally sustainable outcomes for the building. The focus was on providing an integrated approach to energy and water use, occupant comfort and materials selection. Natural ventilation, thermal mass, a hydronic heating and cooling system and a sophisticated Building Management System result in a combined passive and active design solution where materials and building elements perform multiple functions. The sustainable elements of the building are often evident, encouraging occupants to engage and learn – fostering sustainable living.
Photography by Rhiannon Slatter.