Client City of Vancouver
Type Institutional, Cultural, Recreation, Civic
Size 30,000 sq ft
Status Completed 2007
Photography Nic Lehoux
Sunset Community Centre
With its strong formal presence and engaging social spaces, the LEED Gold Certified Sunset Community Centre inspires and anchors its South Vancouver community. Conceived as a link between nature and the vibrant multi-cultural neighbourhood around it, this elegant and transparent building is carefully sited on a major thoroughfare, giving it a strong visible presence and making it easily accessible to the local community.
Sunset Community Centre houses a pre-school, gymnasium, exercise rooms, and re-sizeable multi-purpose spaces for art, dance, and music classes, making it a popular venue for diverse cultural festivities and events. Its large hall is designed to accommodate big weddings and celebrations common among the area’s immigrant communities. Outreach and community integration form the architectural expression of the building with the main circulation corridors boldly extending to the site’s periphery and inviting the community in.
Program components are expressed through five separate but harmonious undulating leaf-like roof forms. These organic forms relate directly to the re-grading of the site and are repeated on the interior where wood ceilings rise and fall to shape the major program areas, creating a strong connection to the exterior landscape. All the earth excavated during construction was reused on site to create a series of large rolling grassy berms, forming a natural outdoor amphitheatre, perfect for large summer events and festivals.
Shortly after opening, membership at Sunset Community Centre grew by 40% – a measure of the extraordinary community support and pride in the building.