Nestled amongst Australian native trees and dappled with sunlight, this fluid new sports hall designed by Allen Jack+Cottier for a girls’ school in Sydney, Australia makes the most of its site’s typography, while flexibly providing for a multitude of sporting activities and other uses.
Designed for netball, basketball and indoor badminton as well as other sports and for student group meetings, the building sits comfortably within its bush context, establishing a dialogue with the large trees that surround it.
“Our poetic response to this very special site saw the floating soaring curve steel form of the building grow from an overt and direct expression of its thermo dynamic modelling, structural analysis and materials research”. Micheal Heenan CEO, Principal, Design.
The apparently simple curved form - a single, large-scale 56 metre long internal space without pillars, with an internal height of 11 metres - provides maximum space and volume for the intended use, a sports facility and meeting space.
All facades have been broken down in scale with louvres and screens, to make them ‘kid size’ when viewed from the ground up.
Thermodynamic modelling was used to express the environmentally sustainable principles embodied in the design. Internal cladding in Spotted Gum (a native Australian hardwood timber) provides texture and allows the building’s facades to respond to changing sun and weather conditions, and to capture breezes for cross ventilation.
The light metal roof, rendered and spotted gum timber clad walls and screens were selected to harmonise with the surrounding bush, and its ever changing colours of the tree trunks, branches and leaves. Soffits under the large roof overhangs are lined in plywood, allowing the building and materials to extend and merge into the landscape beyond.