A multi-million dollar community and arts centre in East Sydney will provide much-needed places for the growing local community to meet, work, learn and be creative.
The City of Sydney has transformed the former Heffron Hall community centre in Darlinghurst into a state-of-the-art community facility, named the new East Sydney Community and Arts Centre, which is set to open in late 2016.
The centre will feature improved access, more hire spaces and out-of-school-hours facilities, while a new public artwork at its entrance will greet visitors and inspire them to step inside. The upgrade also extends to the neighbouring Albert Sloss Reserve with a new playground, landscaping and seating.
City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the refurbished centre will provide a hub of community activity and events when it opens in late 2016.
“We have retained heritage features of the original Heffron Hall while adding accessible facilities and more space for community activities in this popular inner city area,” Monica said.
“The centre and neighbouring reserve will become a much-loved hub for the East Sydney, providing interesting and inspiring activities for everyone in the heart of our inner city.”
Located in a heritage conservation area on the corner of Burton and Palmer streets, the upgraded centre will feature improved building access and a new lift and spaces for an out-of-hours school care program and community hire as well as improved connections to the reserve.
As part of the hall’s redevelopment, a new public artwork will brighten the Burton Street façade. S(w)ing by Turpin + Crawford Studio will feature three giant translucent discs that move behind a five-metre glass wall and will open up the building to the street.
Works at the adjacent Albert Sloss Reserve include better access to the centre with new and improved paths from Palmer Street.
New playground equipment in a shaded area of the reserve includes a slippery dip, rope-climbing tunnel and basket swing and nature-inspired play elements. A larger grassed area will retain existing significant trees and new trees will provide more shade.
New paths, outdoor seating and energy-efficient lighting will improve safety and pedestrian amenity.
The City has been working on a series of projects to develop the area as a cultural and recreational hub for the community. This includes the new childcare and community facilities at 277 Bourke Street to support local families, near the recently refurbished Eternity Playhouse.