Highly Commended 2021

Springvale Community Hub

Lyons / Rush Wright Associates / City of Greater Dandenong

Springvale Community Hub reflects and supports Springvale’s diverse immigrant community, exceeding sustainability standards and celebrating the suburb’s cultural fabric.

The Springvale Community Hub incorporates a large library and series of civic spaces set amongst a playful parkland, mirroring the culturally diverse population and urban context. It features a variety of learning, leisure, services, cultural spaces and the importance of representation and connection, fostering a sense of civic ownership.

We worked closely with the Greater Dandenong City Council and the community itself to produce this multifaceted, world-class, zero-emissions community facility. The result is a coalescence of cultures forming a diverse public space that encourages education, interaction, and connection.

Design Brief

As Springvale is one of the most culturally diverse communities in Australia, the aim of the brief was to reflect the unique identities of its residents and the urban context in which it resides, featuring a variety of learning, leisure and cultural opportunities as well as a workplace for the council. The project aimed to highlight the importance of representation and connection, showcasing visual identity and placemaking to foster a sense of civic ownership.

This desire for civic ownership was intertwined with deep environmental aspirations, with the design aiming at a 6-star Green Star rating and carbon neutrality.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The Springvale Community Hub acts as a mirror to the community of Springvale, reflecting the unique identities of the people that call Springvale home. It is a flagship project for the Greater Dandenong City Council, one that embodies the importance of representation. It shows that when we see ourselves reflected in the community, we feel more integrated within it. From facilitating education, to improving access to key services, our design for the Springvale Community Hub is multifaceted.

Alongside landscape architects Rush Wright Associates we have responded to the urban context of Springvale, reflecting its built and natural features, as well as social, economic and environmental stories. Our innovative design communicates with the environment, curving around the site’s beloved red river gum trees, and exceeding sustainability standards in support of the community’s future. By wrapping the new community centre around the gum trees, the importance of the land and the protection of the Australian landscape becomes a central motif in the design. A diversity and abundance of cultural references in the material and planting selections are inspired by the surrounding suburban fabric and its many social and cultural groups. They become the principal drivers of the precinct design providing a welcoming and inviting, fresh insight into amazing Springvale.

Design Excellence

From the gardens to The Studio, sustainability is incorporated into the project’s performance and design. The Hub achieves a 6-star Green Star and carbon neutral rating through rainwater management systems, large photovoltaics panels, heating/cooling systems and aspects of the façade’s design. Large windows perforate the building’s envelope in every direction, improving wellbeing and reducing energy consumption.

The northern façade acts as safe verandah and veil, sheltering the users within and creating a series of protected outdoor spaces along its edge. This space is well lit throughout library opening hours and throughout the evening. All spaces within the vast landscape have also been designed with CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) best principles.

Each side of the facade reflect a different aspect of Springvale. The Western facade ‘ripples’ with a rainbow of custom glazed bricks to conceptually reflect the various cultural flags that make up the Springvale demographic. The Northern facade curves around the ancient River Red Gums with timber fins and reflective glass panels. The Eastern elevation mimics the suburban ‘pitched’ roofs of the area (in brown and terracotta) and the Southern facade connects to the carpark, incorporating vertical cat-eye reflector bands, catching the lights of passing cars. The building’s roof also collects/stores rainwater for use in toilets, landscaping and irrigation.

The outdoor spaces are equipped for a variety of recreation uses, community events and social gatherings. They invite community engagement with multi-use courts, playgrounds, extensively landscaped gardens, and an open air, outdoor bathroom that is accessibility and ambulant friendly. The outdoor green spaces have been extensively landscaped with native and immigrant plantings, to reflect the diverse community of Springvale. It is the ideal place for community events and social gatherings.

Design Innovation

Our precinct design is laid out in a series of ‘layers of history’, at the centre of which is a flowing landscape inspired by the immigrant journey - a continuous path linking together the landscape with the building. At the heart of this landscape is a generous community green.

The result is a coalescence of cultures forming a diverse public space that encourages education, interaction and connection. Deep consultation with the Council and multicultural Springvale community guided our final design, which responds to the Springvale's urban context, reflecting its built and natural features, as well as social, economic and environmental stories.

Design Impact

The result of our design for Springvale Community Hub is a coalescence of cultures forming a diverse public space encouraging education, interaction and connection. This reflects the unique identities of its residents and the urban context in which it resides.

The new park spaces form new inclusive welcoming land forms and pathways that embrace the symbolic gesture, the landscape, the diverse trees on the site, and the differing peoples that have come to Springvale from many lands. The landscape of the new community precinct successfully works to incorporate a proud sense of Springvale’s history.

“The new Springvale Community Hub has been designed as a place where people of all ages, backgrounds and interests can come together, connect and feel welcome. It is a true celebration of culture, diversity and community and will provide a variety of learning, leisure and cultural opportunities in one place.” Mayor Jim Memeti, Greater Dandenong Mayor Councillor said of the design.

“We won the design competition to design a community hub that reflects and supports the diverse immigrant community of Springvale now and well into the future. The result is a project that exceeds sustainability standards and celebrates the suburb’s cultural fabric from every angle.” James Wilson, Director of Lyons said of the design.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

From the gardens to The Studio, sustainability is incorporated into the project’s performance and design. The Hub achieves a 6-star Green Star and carbon neutral rating through rainwater management systems, large photovoltaics panels, heating/cooling systems and aspects of the façade’s design. Large windows perforate the building’s envelope in every direction, improving wellbeing and reducing energy consumption.

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