Hub on Echlin development is an infill, medium density, mixed-use urban conclusion to the existing West End Neighbourhood Centre. The project’s philosophy is with intergenerational change in mind – creation of an affordable alternative to the car-dependant suburban sprawl, a shift from suburban to an urban, sustainable place.
The building form and fabric are imbedded in a sense of locality – the historic character of West End and the dominant views of Castle Hill. The simple and climatically responsive design creates a sense of familiarity. This approach defines the project from its outset allowing for ease of construction, end user affordability and therefore a sense of social responsibility associated with the inner city suburbs of Townsville. The design is based on prefabrication - 31 face concrete panels create a substantial cost-saving in relation to scaffolding, rendering and painting costs traditionally associated with this type of development. The resulting outcome has low maintenance costs and uses the concrete’s embodied energy as thermal sink for cooling the interiors.
The other unique aspect of the project is in the architect’s role – he acts as an architect, client and owner-builder, taking a higher level of risk and accountability in respect to the end project’s outcome.