Connectivity between the internal and external environment was paramount in the development of the design concept for the refurbishment and additions to Point Lookout’s Community Hall on North Stradbroke Island.

Located behind the dune zone at Home Beach and sitting amongst the paper barks and pandanas trees the site is an idyllic setting for a public facility representative of this island community.

Jackson Teece’s design proposal was chosen by Redlands City Council through a competitive Design and Construct tender process which was pursued in collaboration with Paul Maguire Builder. The selection criteria was heavily weighted towards good design and value for money due to a very tight budget.

The existing building was constructed largely of brick construction with an asbestos roof and very few windows or openings. The brief required a more transparent building with an upgrade of facilities to cater for a multitude of users such as play groups, yoga classes, singing groups and large functions such as weddings.

Through the opening up the northern facade and the addition of a large covered deck area to act as an intermediary between the internal and external, the design addresses the bushland and dune zone to the north bringing the stradbroke island atmosphere into the hall itself.

The addition of an east wing containing kitchen facilities, has been rotated off axis to the east to encourage northern light, ventilation and create a wider view corridor to the bush land from the hall. The amenities and water tanks have been located to the west of the building utilising an unused part of the site without impacting on public space. Flow through ventilation has been provided through high level louvres both the north and south facades.

In response to the sub-tropical island vernacular of North Stradbroke, and the favourable – but also harsh – natural conditions, the design utilises plantation and recycled timber, glass, polycarbonate and other lightweight robust materials. The sophisticated application of these materials will deliver an aesthetic that contributes to Point Lookout’s built environment. The playful use of blue, yellow, red and brown makes reference the islands natural colours contributing to the humanity and joy of the facility and enhances its connection to the environment.

Ecological sustainability has been a major consideration in the design process, the selection of products, reuse of materials and the construction process. The contractor is aiming to reuse 80% of the material removed, with asbestos contributing to the majority of the material removed from site. These initiatives will lower the overall embodied energy held in the building itself, reducing its initial impact on the environment.

Photovoltaic solar panels, rain water harvesting and passive lighting and ventilation will see a continued reduced impact on the environment for years to come.

The building started construction in October 2010 and is due for completion in June 2011.