Public Amenities for North Sydney Council

Public amenity buildings are very useful but no one wants to see them in the public domain. At the same time, people want to feel safe and enjoy using them. Given this dichotomy, what is the best way to lessen the impact of a new amenities block in a very small pocket park surrounded on 2 sides by an elevated concrete car park? The answer in this case, is to ‘skin’ the car park with a narrow and elongated facility.
Mirror-polished stainless steel panels mirror the park. It is a malleable material and, contrary to a glass mirror, the reflected image can be distorted much like the distorted mirrors at Luna Park. It is possible also to adjust the desired level of distortion. The building virtually disappears and its impact reduced by reflecting and doubling the size park.
One accessible and two ambulant toilets are placed lineally behind this mirrored screen which is natural lit from skylights in the planted roof. Natural ventilation comes from below the screen which is raised up off the ground and the skylights.

Distorted Expansion
Location: Neutral Bay, NSW, Australia -33.831565, 151.220955
Architects: Lacoste+Stevenson
Date: 2016
Team: Thierry Lacoste, David Stevenson, Melanie Schonfield, Simon Howard
Structural and facade: SDA Structures
Services: Erbas
Photography / images: Michael Nicholson