The design development involved extensive community participation. Core to the design was the concept that while being multi-functional, the Centre would nevertheless have a strong sense of single identity and enable the various elements to functionally interact. Grainge Architects achieved this by grouping the different functions around a courtyard, which provides a unifying point of access and focus and allows the elements to operate as an entity, yet have a degree of autonomy.
Bearing in mind the sensitive nature of some of the elements, such as the medical centre reception and children’s centre access, distinct points of privacy and control were required. A hierarchy of public, semi-private and private spaces was established through the use of garden walls, screens and gateways to provide appropriate levels of natural security without creating an atmosphere of exclusion.
The building incorporates many sustainable features, including solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, rain-water harvesting and extensive use of natural lighting and ventilation to all areas.