© 2017 Woodford Sheppard Architecture Ltd.

st thomas community centre

client: Town of Paradise

location: Paradise, Newfoundland

use: public

scale: 2,870 ft2

photographers: 

Julian Parkinson, Chad Sharpe, and Evan Steele

St. Thomas Community Centre is a new single storey community building located in the Town of Paradise, Newfoundland, Canada. St. Thomas was once an independent community, but recently amalgamated with its larger neighbor. Honoring the history of the original community, this new community centre is placed at the site of St. Thomas’ former town hall and reprises the town hall's former role as a cornerstone of community activity.

The new building’s program consists of a Multipurpose Community Room, Washrooms, Kitchen, Lounge, and Storage. While its form and scale are rooted in the traditional houses and out-buildings of the area, they have been re-interpreted in a modern context. 

Native to the island of Newfoundland and easily accessible, wood is used throughout the building both as structural framing, and exterior and interior finishes. The exterior wood wall structure allows for a seemingly random layout of windows of varying sizes, which adds playfulness to both the interior and exterior and frames views of the surrounding landscape. The interior of the building uses vaulted, asymmetrical, and pre-manufactured roof trusses that span across the large public areas that create unique gathering places for the community. These vaulted ceilings are finished in clear coated plywood, which adds warmth to the spaces and provides a contrast to the rough wood outside.