The Pascoe Vale Community Centre was commissioned by the City of Moreland to accommodate Maternal and Child Health Care, spaces for adult classes, and Kindergarten and Child Care facilities.
The facility is located in park land next to the Pascoe Vale Pool and Pascoe Vale Community Hall. The program is split over two levels with primarily adult services being delivered on the ground level, and childrens’ services from the floor above with access to outdoor play areas.
Although it is a two storey level building, its presence is deliberately modest with the ground floor being partially buried into the side of the hill forming a plinth, with the smaller level above not being much taller than the surrounding residential neighbourhood. This was an important issue to address as there was sensitivity about the immediate park land context, and a concern that the project show deference to the heritage War Memorial at the Cumberland Road end of the parklands.
Through the design workshops with the stakeholders, there arose the idea of representing the various groups and peoples through an exploration in colour. This resonated with the community – they were familiar with the tradition of stained glass in places of congregation, and to them symbolised that a Community Centre is a safe place to gather for the various activities available to them.
This facility has used its planning and sectioning to address the initial concerns the client had, that a multi-level building could be over scaled for this site; and through the design process, colour and materiality has been explored to decorate, illuminate its spaces, and above, to tell a story about the complex and diverse community life the facility supports. When the Pascoe Vale Community Centre opens its doors, it shouts colours to its whole community. This colour provides and animates a sense of activity, vitality and life – all core themes for any community.