Katherine Sportsground Pavilion
- Katherine Town Council
- Katherine East, Northern Territory
- + Sports facilities
+ Barbecue facilities
+ Commercial grade kitchen
+ Medical Bay
+ Indoor multi-purpose function room
+ Security features
+ Climate consideration
AIA NT Architecture Awards - Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture - 2023
AIA NT Architecture Awards - Public Architecture Award - 2023
AIA NT Architecture Awards - The Tracy Memorial Award - 2023
Australian Institute of Project Management Achievement Awards - Best Regional Project - 2023
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Katherine’s new multipurpose sports facility is an essential piece of infrastructure to bolster liveability in the region and create a place to foster a healthy, active, and connected community.
Hames Sharley’s brief was to design a new sports hub to serve as a ‘home ground’ for multiple sporting clubs, to replace the existing dilapidated structure dating back to the 1980s.
Civic in nature, the building is adaptive to community needs, and reflective of its environment and purpose. It is a building for which the community can be proud, a building to bring communities together.
Extensive community consultation was conducted early in the design phase to ensure the building met locals’ needs. Balancing the community’s ‘wish list’ with available budget was both a design consideration and challenge, with funding changes throughout the design process.
The central pavilion is a focal point and integral to the design of the building. It provides a functional area for sporting and community organisations to meet and significantly improves access to the sporting fields by connecting the north and south ovals. It comprises barbeque facilities, a commercial-grade kitchen for events, ticket offices, amenities, and a medical bay. Due to the lack of similar sports hubs in the region, with the nearest located some 300km away in Darwin, it was important the design allowed for flexible use of the space and included amenities to service a wide range of groups.
The central, high-level butterfly roof reaches out towards each oval, soaring dramatically upwards, providing dynamic visual appeal. Exposed columns highlight the structural elements of the building, providing an element of stoicism in reference to its civic focus. The translucent roof of the pavilion, lined with aluminium battens, provides dappled, filtered light, akin to sitting under the shade of a tree on a hot day. The perforated metal screens of the central pavilion retract, enabling voluminous cross-flow ventilation and an open, direct connection to the exterior.
The building’s main section is slightly elevated, minimising the impact of flooding, of which the area is prone. This elevation enables enhanced views of both ovals from the pavilion, incorporation of seating terraces and the capture of prevailing breezes.
Location had a significant influence on design, including the selection of robust materials to withstand the harsh Territorian climate. The external perforated metal skin protects the blockwork exterior from direct solar heat gain and assists with passive cooling in tandem with six metre-wide eaves, operable screen walls and a breezeway through the central pavilion. The changerooms and sports store facilities are on either end of the building and on grade, providing direct oval access for players and equipment.
Located on the edge of Katherine’s CBD and in a relatively isolated area, part of the client’s brief was for a secure, vandal-resistant building. Metal roller doors, high-strength glass and large perforated powder-coated panels allow various parts of the building to be secured when not in use. Security has been achieved without compromising aesthetics, air movement and natural lighting.