Warren Shire Council Chambers

Commercial/ Public
Alterations + Additions

Location: Warren, NSW

Client: Warren Shire Council
Cost: $1.4 Million
Status: Tender Documentation
My role: Project Architect/ Designer

The existing mid-1900s Council building currently houses offices, the RTA and meeting rooms. The brief was to extend the building and make alterations to the existing building to create more space and include a new Community Space, new offices, meeting rooms and amenities.

The building is to be extended to the west and north and needs to be set-back from the street front due to existing site constraints.

It presented itself as an interesting challenge. How do we extend a mid-1900s office building without making it look like an obvious ad-on, whilst respecting its history and use and staying within the budget?

The building shape is set, however, this leaves us with an interesting stepped street front. By using a particular building material to connecting the two components, the intention is to wrap both components with the same building fabric. Not just any cladding, we have chosen polycarbonate cladding.

Why you ask?

This particular material has terrific environment/climate control qualities, toughness, simplicity, light translucency and easy installation.

Since we are just attaching this to the existing facade, this means we can cover the windows and light will still filter through. This removes the added cost of cutting cladding around windows, replacing and restoring windows. Since the cladding is translucent, we also get a hint of the shapes of the existing windows beyond, particularly when lit at night.

It's lightweight, non-combustible, tough however easy to replace if a panel is damaged, has high UV protection, good thermal insulation properties and is watertight.

In the new extension, it surrounds the portal framed entry windlock to let filtered north eastern sunlight into the new community space.

This lightweight fabric then peels back at 2 corners to reveal the Warren Shire branding colours.

The building will now have 2 designated entries, one for the RTA/Council Chambers and one for the Community Spaces. Dark framed portals protrude from the simple polycarbonate cladding to emphasize the 2 entries.

For future use, this simple building facade can allow for activities such as light projection to create images in the same style as Vivid in Sydney.