“I requested to be involved in any upcoming Hayball and AWF projects after Esther Charlesworth came in to present the work that AWF do, during one of our Connect Professional Development sessions. As soon as the Good Samaritan Inn project came on board I put my hand up!”
AWF catches up with Emma Parkinson, Associate at Hayball and Project Lead on the renovations of the Good Samaritan Inn.
How does Hayball support pro-bono work and why?
Hayball supports pro-bono work from the top down. Our Co-Managing Director Tom Jordan is a strong advocate for the work that AWF does and Hayball is one of the Network’s Community Partners.
As a practice, we push for the design of sustainable communities and strongly believe that collaboration drives the best outcomes. We know how important it is for practices like Hayball, that have the resources and breadth of experience to undertake pro-bono work, to promote the value of good design in the community. At Hayball, our pro-bono projects are treated like any other project, with considered resourcing and an applied team with varying levels of experience.
How did you come to be involved in the Good Samaritan Inn Project within Hayball?
I requested to be involved in any upcoming Hayball and AWF projects after Esther Charlesworth came in to present the work that AWF do, during one of our Connect Professional Development sessions. As soon as the Good Samaritan Inn project came on board I put my hand up!
How was working with AWF different to other pro-bono projects you have worked on?
This is the first pro-bono project I’ve worked on, however, to have the support of AWF during the Design and Construction phases was fantastic. Sarah Schoffel was always on call for a chat or a quick status update and helped immensely in bringing together all of the experienced consultants that formed our team.
What were the challenges you faced working on this pro-bono project and how did you address them?
The challenges from a client perspective were really just ensuring that we were aware of the environment that we were stepping into. I.e a safe space for women and families. So, making sure that we were respectful of people’s space when we needed to measure up an area or take photos of existing conditions - trying to be as undisruptive as possible.
The challenges from a more typical construction perspective were just generally dealing with existing conditions and the unknowns that come with a building that was constructed over 80 years ago. We had to make our consultants aware that there was a chance that we would discover latent conditions that might impact the design and that if this was the case, we needed to be prepared to adapt and adjust the design as required. Every dollar counted in this project – a huge proportion of the amenities items were donated by GWA at no cost, so the challenge was how to get the ‘best bang for buck’ and if that meant altering a detail or space in order to save a few thousand here and there, our consultants and the builder were on board with this approach.
What were the main goals that you wanted to achieve through the function and design of the space to meet the needs of the refuge?
The main objectives were to upgrade the existing tired facilities to be DDA compliant and increase the variety of functional spaces. That included incorporating a DDA bathroom on the Ground Floor and reconfiguring the upstairs bathrooms so that there was a mixture of small and large amenities with a combination of baths and showers, suitable for singles or families with small children.
This provided the Inn greater flexibility in how they allocated amenities to guests, depending on each individual’s circumstances, to in turn provide a greater level of practical support.
What did you personally get out of working on the project?
It was an absolute privilege to work alongside AWF and the Good Samaritan Inn and a process that I thoroughly enjoyed, every step of the way. I gained a very real insight into the critical support that the Inn provides and the incredible service that they run. The staff are all so caring and passionate about the work that they do and that was really inspiring to see. Observing this reaffirmed to me that good design should be accessible for all, not just those that are privileged enough to be able to afford it.
Throughout the project, AWF and Hayball have formed a wonderful partnership where our common goal has always been to consider what is best and most functional for the Inn.
It was also really heartwarming to see how many of Hayball’s regular suppliers and consultants on commercial projects were willing to donate their services and products without hesitation. The project was a truly collaborative effort and I think this is evident when you look at the beautiful spaces that we jointly created.