Mount Pleasant Community Centre
In September 2013 we were invited to put together a design proposal for the rebuild of the Mount Pleasant Memorial Community Centre building which was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.
A tragic period in time, the Canterbury Earthquakes presented an divergent opportunity to deliver a new heart for the community by gaining a new, world-class community facility. An opportunity to not only build a building that is dynamic and resilient, but also one that will represent a place of connections new and old; a place to remember the past and prepare for what is yet to come.
Our starting point for the design was a response from a member of the community who said "... In my view, community’s not about the building but about activities that draw people together to make connections…"
Conceptually it was important to understand that the diverse range of activities that the community centre was used for were not mutually exclusive within the Mount Pleasant community and it was the commonalities between these activities and the diverse group of users, which should be celebrated.
Based on this we set out to challenge the traditional model of a community centre which is divided into multiple empty spaces. Instead we looked toward a more dynamic future where space was seen as a vessel for new activities and new connections that could be used by the diverse range of groups within the community. By doing this we could create a centre that could adapt and flex with the needs of the people and could become the heart of this bustling, dynamic, and friendly community.
By simply rethinking the way we approached design we were able to propose a hybrid, intelligent space that utilized every inch and delivered a smaller building with a low ecological footprint with more amenity for the community within a much tighter overall budget.