RAIA Regional Commendation 2006
Dajarra is a town of approximately 200 people, mostly of Aboriginal descent, located 153km south of Mount Isa in Western Queensland. The existing Community Hall at Dajarra had previously housed a number of separate organisations in small rooms located to the rear of the building. These tenants required additional space to cater for business expansion.
Vacant land to the rear of the Hall allowed the addition of a separate office wing. This new wing is connected to the existing building by a verandah floor and overlapping roofs. The interstitial area provides an “office street” with existing and new office areas accessed via this street. At one location, the “office street” breaks into a social space midway along the building length that overlooks the yard to the north, which also includes a children’s playground. The verandah acts as a central community gathering space.
The building contributes to the public streetscape by providing a tall mass of building that projects from behind the hall and can be seen from the main intersection of the town.
Relatively simple form and construction techniques have allowed this project to be constructed by Western Queensland CDEP using a lead foreman and predominantly unskilled workers from within the community. The project has provided a significant and multi-faceted contribution to the community. This has occurred both in the course of development and in the resulting construction. It represents the progressive nature of the Dajarra Community.
This building demonstrates the strength of a simple and humble architecture that reflects the needs of the client, the community and the challenges of a remote location. The logical planning and integration with the existing community hall provides a place for community activities and a general meeting place for young and old alike. The client is acknowledged for the wisdom of their investment.
—RAIA awards Jury citation