Australians are by definition sports crazy, so naturally sports architecture should play a significant role in the nation’s psyche. Sport clubs dot the suburbs like fire stations, but none has the kinetic punch and environmental acumen as Templestowe Reserve Sporting Pavilion. The new sport center packs a lot of solar technology on the roof to support the many hot showers taken inside. It also uses the thermal mass from the deconstruction of the previous building buried below, which acts as a heat sink for incoming fresh air to help cool down exerted bodies. The charged design is the real story because it acts as an active participant in the games.
Every viewing angle gives a new formulation of massing and gesture to keep you on your toes. Just approaching the entrance takes a little bravery because the building reaches out to grasp you. Inspired by the bolts on team uniforms, the saw tooth roof points skywards, concealing the solar electric and thermal panels. But with all the angular bravado, the jutting brickwork, zigzag rails leading to the turf, makes an adventure of traversing the pavilion.
Peter Ho of PHOOEY Architects explains: “How do you capture that identity and history of the club that constantly changes? The Templestowe Reserve Sporting Pavilion’s form is trying to capture all of those qualities as jumpers have changed and how those forms are represented in the building.
The locals jokingly call it the Sydney Opera House of sporting pavilions. It has an identity, people know where they’re going, and it has some of the qualities of a jumper on the front of the building. We have the whole front facade doing a Mexican wave to generate activity around the football match. How do you start one and how do you continue it especially at a local football ground when there are only 10 or 20 people around the boundary line? Somebody’s got to start it, which is always the hardest part. So there’s a bit of whimsy in the approach, a bit of entertainment and a laugh out of it as well. There are qualities that are expressed as a consequence of that building.”
Excerpt from [ours] Hyperlocalization of Architecture chapter Australia Unfolds, an eVolo Press book about worldwide contemporary sustainable archetypes.