VISION Issue 31 - Page 20

VISION 31—IN SEARCH OF A COMMUNITY VIBE All pop-up cities and overnight urban precincts experience growth pains. Not even Dubai and its mega-rich sister cities can entirely buy their way out of trouble. Speedy growth, just like speedy driving, brings big risks. True diversity and smaller mixed-uses are often overlooked in the rush to embrace the big end of town. T his partially explains why community facilities and attractions such as libraries, art galleries, green wedges, community centres and playgrounds appear if ever, or merely as add-ons, rather than intrinsic to the mix. The matter of a Dockland’s Library was addressed with Clare Design and Hayball's handsome $15 million project finally opening last year. Talk about ‘bang for the buck’. The whole precinct has been conspicuous by, and the poorer for, such absences. This modest, community-based project sits right alongside the library on Victoria Harbour Promenade adding much needed dimension. In truth it echoes the library, not so much eyeball snapping, as a project of cool restraint rather than design antics. A charcoal-toned metal cladding punctuated with Viridian glazing in critical areas of public access and operation, reprises a welcome waterfront design vocabulary. Known as ‘Community Hub at the Dock’, the $8.5 million project is at first glance an unlikely hybrid of family centre and boating facility. The 1600 sq.m. building delivers 46m of lively waterfront façade. 20