Byron Optimist Community Centre

Located at the north end of London’s Jorgensen Park is the Byron Optimist Community Centre. Once a concrete and brick box with limited windows, the Centre expressed little of the delight and energy that community centres evoke. The non-descript and tired facility inadequately communicated its special role as a community hub for the surrounding area. architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson facilitated a series of town hall meetings with the local residents and the neighbouring community to describe a revitalized Byron Optimist Community Centre. Together, a new vision for the Centre was developed using color, material, natural light, and form.

Implementing this vision with a modest investment has established an inspiring site. Window openings are cut into the existing building bringing an abundance of natural light into the Centre. The glazing itself adds further fun and flair with a range of colours – an inspiration derived from colourful name tags found at the front entrance during a preliminary first visit. Placed into the side of a gently sloping hill on its east side, the refreshed Centre is now the heart of an energetic landscape featuring an accessible roof, a wading pool to the north and a pair of tennis courts immediately to the south. Since re-opening, the rejuvenated Byron Optimist Community Centre has seen both a massive increase in use and a greater variety of public programs for all ages.