Providing Community Services is an important role of Council. Mosman Council provides an admirable level of services across the demographic spectrum of the community.
The Seniors’ Centre, Seniors’ Lounge, Meals on Wheels, the Child Care Centre and Youth Centre serve the community needs by providing unconditional space to be active and interact. Currently these facilities are spread across the site and surrounding areas. The architectural ambition of Community Services should be to provide amenity and privacy for the users whilst encouraging the opportunity for interaction between different demographics. The functions of the buildings or rooms could overlap, instigating informal interaction between different walks of life. The flexible spaces should allow for options of uses with efficient programming over the course of the day.
The existing Seniors’ Centre is situated in the former ‘Town Hall Auditorium’ of the Council Chambers building along side Myahgah Road. The consultants were taken through the various rooms, where they observed a complicated internal layout as a result of renovations over time. Level changes, ramps and stairs create potential WH&S problems and severely limit accessibility. For instance, the entry through the pedestrian street requires a 70-metre walk from the drop-off zone including multiple level changes.
The Youth Centre is currently within the Library building. It is a dedicated 245 square metre space occupying valuable ground floor space on The Crescent. Although it is very specifically furnished and decorated, the space is not used efficiently during school hours on most days. For this reason the space is increasingly being used for meetings and functions even though it is not designed for flexible use.
The ‘Meals On Wheels’ program has changed to incorporate pre-prepared meals. Consequently the existing kitchen and preparation spaces are under-utilised and more functional delivery and storage space is needed.
Accessibility is of high importance. Community services rooms should aim to be better integrated with adjacent courtyards, open space and roads. The privacy and accessibility of The Crescent would be ideal as a dedicated drop-off point for aged people. The Seniors’ Centre and Lounge should be connected accessibly to the new Library and Art Gallery to encourage a mixing of demographics within the community. The new Seniors’ Centre should be designed as a multipurpose space so it may function as a community restaurant when needed. The space must be accessible and transformable with movable furniture. The adjoining Seniors’ Lounge, with rooms for classes, would be secondary to this space and incorporate an efficient distribution point for ‘Meals On Wheels’.
The ‘Young Adult Area’ and Youth Collection in the new Library should have a direct physical proximity with the Youth Centre. This would broaden and diversify functions of the Youth Centre to facilitate a range of educational and interestbased programs, Information Technology, seating, study space and break-out space.
A new facility should be included to replace ‘Occasional Childcare Centre’ currently in Mosman Park. Providing childcare for children 6 weeks to five years of age.