Windsor Garden Centre site earmarked for community hub

An artist's impression of the new community hub earmarked for the old Windsor Garden Centre site at Vineyard. Picture: Ingot Digital
An artist's impression of the new community hub earmarked for the old Windsor Garden Centre site at Vineyard. Picture: Ingot Digital

A "community hub" inspired by the Grounds in Alexandria is being planned for Vineyard, and is set to offer an 'Instagram-worthy' experience for lovers of food and recreation.

It will be set over two levels and will include food and beverage outlets, a childcare centre, playground, gym, carpark, large alfresco dining area and open spaces for the public to enjoy.

It is earmarked for the corner of McGrath and Windsor Roads, on the site of the old Windsor Garden Centre, and takes inspiration from the semi-rural surroundings.

Designers i2C Architects claim the development will be the first of its kind in greater Sydney.

The site spans 6,400 square metres and will employ "a considered approach to placemaking", according to the designers.

Its history as a plant nursery will be given a nod in the design, with lots of Instagram-worthy spots to take pictures, according to i2C Project Designer Maryanne Daher.

"Given its location in Greater Sydney, the design plans had to respond to fire and flooding requirements, however, we didn't want to compromise on bringing a whimsical feel to the centre. We envisage the space to have a character of its own; a true destination for locals and visitors," she said.

Project Architect Dino Delotavo said: "The design looks to commemorate the site's previous use, so we've chosen large man-made tree-like canopies, and working hand in hand with landscaping experts Lark Collective, these will be adorned with seasonal florals. Rustic and artistic walkways will nod to the site's past with cascading vines and shapes within the outdoor walkways that are reminiscent of the nursery, like birds and butterflies."

The designers said that from the street, passersby will see barn-like structures. Inside, design elements will include stained glass windows, cobblestone walkways and charred timber.

Eco-friendly grass pavers have been chosen over bitumen for the car park, allowing rainwater to permeate through the soil.

The design reportedly places the children's play spaces away from car parking and residential spaces, and raised recreation areas are given priority for both the effect of presence and the flood prone nature of the area.

i2C also designed the Eastern Creek Shopping Centre as well as Westpoint Fresh Food and Westpoint Amenities at Blacktown, and did the documentation for David Jones Food Halls on Elizabeth Street in Sydney and at Bondi Junction.