Internationally acclaimed Italian-born architect, Dr Enrico Taglietti, was commissioned to devise the building concept and design. His artistic vision for the Club was to “symbolise a big tent under which the whole Polish family in Canberra would gather”.
The design of the building includes Taglietti's trademark deep, horizontal fascias also found in his other designs around Canberra such as the Dickson Library, Australian War Memorial Annex as well as Giralang, Latham and Flynn Primary Schools.
The buildings overlapping layered roofs create a sequence of stepped internal volumes allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the heart of the building. The roofs all drain to the front of the building originally into purpose built concrete tubs to allow the rain water to slowly dissipate into the drainage system, a means to control large water volumes during heavy rainfalls.
The back section of the building slopes up dramatically to allow for a raised stage with a high level mezzanine, as well as green room and conference facilities on the upper level. To the rear of the building, a sloped roof (originally clad with asbestos shingles) once included 16 dormer windows that allowed natural light into the south facing rooms.
Over the years, with changing needs of the club's patrons, necessary upgrades to the building have resulted in modification from the architects original design intent, such that some elements of Taglietti's original design have not been preserved: the bare cement bricks were painted, the fascia's bare shingles have been clad in steel, front concrete water tubs were removed, the large circular down pipes have been extended to the ground, rear sloping asbestos roof shingles and dormer windows removed and replaced with a metal sheet roof. With finances permitting and under the overall guidance of Taglietti until his passing in 2019, the Club is endeavouring to restore as much of the architect's original vision as possible.
Despite these changes the building's striking form still remains and its internal spaces evoke a charm and ambience that creates a comfortable, welcoming and inviting meeting place for our patrons.