Communities@Work Community Centre, Holder ACT

  • C@W entrance 002
  • C@W entry 001

Client organisation

Communities@Work provides a broad suite of community programs of social value and practical benefit to the ACT community. They deliver services to more than 20,000 people annually, including children's and seniors' services, disability and mental health services, social programs and other special programs.

More information on Communities@Work can be found at

Project Brief

Communities@Work sought to develop their own property to facilitate the delivery of services, both from the premises and out into the community. Land acquired at Holder ACT, is reasonably central to the city and after 7 years of planning the new building will be constructed during 2015.

The project brief was to develop a facility that could be realised over a number of stages and deliver a diverse range of services. The facility would include community rooms for families and seniors, day respite activities, specialised education for disadvantaged secondary children, administrative areas for community based workers, training rooms and a base for the distribution of charitable food and clothes. The facility would be constructed over stages as additional funding and programme demands arise.


The building design responds to the expectation of staged development, including future construction access, and the need to minimise retrospective work as new stages are added. This includes advance structure to support a future second storey and infrastructure works that will support the comprehensive facility, all being developed as part of Stage 1. The building utilises common ACT building techniques to keep the build cost down and adapts a legacy carpark on part of the 5,000m² site to suit the new development parking demand.

SQC Architecture’s practical approach to design and functionality focussed on assisting Communities@Work to achieve value for money from their budget with careful consideration of energy efficiency and lifecycle expenses. This will ensure that funds to deliver much needed community services are maximised.

Stage 1 will deliver a 1,600m² development footprint in two detached buildings, plus 66 parking spaces, infrastructure and modest landscaping.


SQCA work has included high quality conceptual and design details for a community facility which has demonstrated innovative thinking and clear understanding of the needs and best way to meet them. We have been most impressed not only with the quality of their work but in particular their quick grasp of and responsiveness to our requirements which at times need to be changed due to emerging factors.

George Grunbaum
Executive Director, Strategic Development and Corporate Administration

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