The Connection in Rhodes is a community precinct located on the foreshore of Homebush Bay, comprising of four separate buildings including The Learning Space, The Event Space, The Meeting Space, and Bare Witness restaurant, each catering to different needs of the community. The purpose of the project was to meet the varied needs and uses of the current community as well as the anticipated requirements of future residents. The Connection has successfully met this brief through the design and construction of flexible spaces that can transform and evolve over time, as community needs change.
The Connection was conceived and managed by the City of Canada Bay, constructed in 2016 and opened to the public in 2017. The need for the project evolved from the redevelopment of the Rhodes Peninsula and the growing requirements of the new communities residing within the local government area. As part of the Rhodes Peninsula Masterplan, the need for community facilities and open spaces were identified as vital requirements given the type of development, its location, accessibility and needs of the current and future community.
The planning and development process began with the establishment of the project brief, project plan and scoping statement. This required the input of a range of internal and external stakeholders including State Government, residents, community groups and associations, local businesses, developers, neighbouring councils and project consultants. Beyond understanding the current needs of the community, Council also wanted to ensure the project was designed and constructed in a manner which complemented the long-term plans of developers, neighbouring councils and Roads and Maritime Service, Transport NSW and other utilities in the area.
Ultimately, the careful planning and consultation led to the design and delivery of a modern, multi-purpose community precinct that provides services and programs for the growing and changing needs of the population. As The Connection is located in close proximity to established and newly constructed high density residential areas, this space is paramount to the vitality of the community.
The project includes:
- The Event Space, a multipurpose auditorium hall, comprising of two combinable rooms totalling 440 square metres which is suitable for large scale events between 300-400 people and includes a kitchen and outdoor terrace.
- The Learning Space, providing a vibrant and welcoming space to gather, study, meet and work. Operated by City of Canada Bay Libraries, facilities include high speed Wi-Fi, printing, 3D printing, A0 plotter, die cutter, sound recording and rehearsal capabilities, photography and video studio equipment, robotics and electronics. The Learning Space is a hands-on environment which focuses on emerging technologies, providing courses, drop-ins and sessions for all ages.
- The Meeting Space, consisting of four small, self-service rooms that can be adapted to a variety of uses or combined to create larger rooms, including a deck / outdoor area, natural light and floor to ceiling windows, inbuilt AV and automated access.
- External spaces for the whole community including innovative waterplay, green ‘rooms’ and open outdoor spaces.
- Restaurant and café on the waterfront, offering a relaxed casual dining experience where diners can enjoy breakfast through to dinner and drinks inside and out, overlooking Homebush Bay.
- Large scale public artwork, connecting internal and external spaces.
- Reconfigured car parking area, with additional bicycle parking.
- Additional seating, trees, water play, water bubblers and public toilets.
- The City of Canada Bay Council
- Crone Architects
- Kane Construction