Ryde Civic Centre Competition

Ryde Civic Centre Competition

The RCC is a place of connection, of exchange, of transparency and the social centre of a dense, contemporary urban community. Ryde is a diverse part of a diversifying city – a cultural melange where traditional values of city making and new cultural influences need to find common ground.

That common ground is the RCC. Our scheme puts the value of community at the centre of a place designed to enable people to come together and enjoy that cultural, hybrid heritage.

In a commitment to providing social and cultural infrastructure found in the best of international public building, we put the public space over the private through four key manoeuvres, focusing strategies and tactics over specific architectural responses (those can come later, but if the strategy isn’t right to start with …)

Firstly, the public space is raised into a podium-like ‘sky garden’ that – literally – puts the public interest over the private, providing level access across Devlin St and separation from the busy traffic below. Underneath this raised landscape are the bus interchange, car-park and retail spaces.

Secondly, the raised topography is treated like a landscape – folded, creased and manipulated to create community spaces like an outdoor auditorium and sunken plaza and to mediate the scale between residential and commercial interfaces within the site’s immediate context.

Thirdly, we propose that the major public rooms of the project – the theatre, the performance hall, the council chambers (which should be the most public of all) and the plaza itself can be combined into one grand indoor-outdoor event space to provide a unique and adaptable civic centre for the people – WE WANT MORE PUBLIC SPACE!

Lastly, but not least, is environmental, cultural and social sustainability. Sitting at the centre of the RCC is a retrofitted Ryde Civic Centre, an icon of Ryde’s past that represents our commitment to the cultural and social continuity with the past that allows us to move forward without obliterating where we came from.

Project Team
Colette Hortle
Amelie Devaux