Finalist 2021

Delacombe Stadium

Kosloff Architecture / VSBA

Delacombe Stadium is a new indoor competition indoor gymnasium facility for Delacombe Primary School and the local community.

Delacombe Stadium is a new indoor sporting facility designed to act as a 'front door' for Delacombe Primary School, located off the main street of Greenhalghs Rd. The project is envisaged as a community asset, located adjacent to the existing community sports precinct of Doug Dean Oval and augmenting Delacombe Primary School's existing facilities to deliver a dedicated indoor sports and recreation building. Designed to wash a soft glow over the street aspect via it's southern translucent façade, the project is in dialogue with Delacombe's industrial / factory history.

Design Brief

The design brief provided by the Victorian School Building Authority and Delacombe Primary School was in some ways a straight forward functional requirement to provide a space that allows indoor competitive sports to take place. Beyond this functional brief however was a challenge to incorporate a building of this size into the constraints of the primary school footprint in such a way as to both provide a sympathetic and appropriately scaled form to the school campus while also signposting the project as a significant community facility. The project was briefed to further include spatial and visual connections to the adjacent Ballarat oval facility (Doug Dean Reserve) that would open up the possibility of becoming a wider community asset whilst still being purpose made for Delacombe Primary School.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

This project represented a significant opportunity to create an important piece of community infrastructure, not just for Delacombe Primary School, but also for the wider Delacombe area. Early consultation suggested an opportunity to provide a new interface not only with the school’s internal campus but to also strengthen relationships with the wider community. While the primary objective was the provision of a school indoor sporting facility, there was also an aspiration for this to become a key community asset enjoying high usage by both the school and community user groups. The building is situated on the main street frontage of Greenhalgh’s Road which already provided a significant amount of street parking - this also meant it could be used out of hours without needing to traverse through the rest of the school grounds. In addition it is directly adjacent to the well-used community Doug Dean Reserve immediately to the west, providing the opportunity to enhance the amenity of this existing community asset through the addition of a high quality sporting facility and associated amenities, including changerooms. Early dialogue was established with a variety of community groups (Basketball Victoria, Ballarat Basketball and Ballarat City Council) to fully explore and develop the potential for the facility to be utilised to its fullest potential. Every aspect of the design was examined to try and provide functionality and amenity that would appeal to a broad range of community groups, so long as it did not detract in any way from the school’s requirements. The resulting design includes significant.

Design Excellence

Delacombe Stadium has been designed with a focus on place making, best practice ESD initiatives and community focused functionality. Passive design strategies have been used to allow the Gymnasium to operate comfortably without the need for extensive airconditioning or heating. Insulation is provided not only to the roof, but also to the full extents of the walls, and rigid insulation is also provided below ground slab. As Ballarat can be an environment of extremes, this insulative ‘coat’ allows the internal spaces to remain temperate during sub zero temperatures, by providing a base stable internal temperature. Natural air is brought in through low level fans, with hot air exhausted at the high point of the roof. Two large high level industrial fans provide air circulation and an evaporative cooling effect for sports players. These are virtually tuned to provide optimal air flow in warmer weather, increasing comfort in hot weather conditions and allowing extended usage and curriculum delivery beyond sports activities. Southern diffuse natural light allows for reduced glare amenity, and reduces the requirement for artificial lighting, whilst a deep undercover ‘eave’ surrounds the northern and eastern aspects, protecting from inclement weather and also reducing heat load in winter. All external glazing is high performance double glazing to allow the building higher levels of internal comfort without the need for mechanically augmented systems and fresh air is controlled by ‘smart’ C02 sensors distributed throughout the internal spaces, which continually monitor for occupancy levels and introduce fresh air as required automatically. Rainwater is also being harvested from the new roof for use in irrigating school grounds.

Design Innovation

A solid masonry base element wraps around the entire building at lower level, contrasted by a light-weight upper level formed by a translucent material facing on to Greenhalgh’s Rd - this acts as a softly glowing lantern while the facility is in use after hours. Externally at the ground level, brick was chosen as an exceptionally robust material to maximise the maintenance free life of the facility, extending to the lower 3-4m external cladding zone. The brick is subtly articulated to discourage graffiti and provide a tactile experience at the pedestrian level, and includes seating and planting integrated into the façade to provide additional amenity. On the upper levels, deep profiled metal sheet to the upper zone (1mm thick to reduce any impact damage potential) and polycarbonate sheeting are used, the latter providing for large areas of diffuse light transmission to the main gymnasium. Internal lighting levels are automatically adjusted based on light transmission to minimise energy usage, which can be additionally customised based on the usage of the space at the time. A simple steel portal structural frame provides economical spans and structural main support in a highly cost effective manner. Elements that increase functionality for the school and community include a large screen video and audio system in the main courts space to facilitate presentations and movie nights, and a drop down net that divides the central court into 2 smaller courts, increasing the flexibility of recreational gaming in the facility.

Design Impact

Supporting the well-being of both students and staff through Environmentally Sustainable Design was a key priority identified during the consultation with the school community. When in use after dark, the translucent cladding provides a soft and welcoming glow, and the new building will be used as the venue for important school events, allowing the school community to gather and celebrate year-round irrespective of weather conditions or season. Fresh air is controlled by ‘smart’ C02 sensors distributed throughout the interior - these continually monitor for occupancy levels and introduce fresh air as required automatically. High level industrial fan units are tuned to provide optimal air flow in warmer weather, increasing comfort in these weather conditions and allowing extended usage and curriculum delivery year-round. Timber has been used internally for wall linings, joinery elements and flooring to provide occupants with a natural material that reinforces connection to nature, another key contributor to student and staff well-being. Significant effort was made to retain and protect as many existing trees as possible on site, in order for the natural environment to be a key element of the project. Where new trees were included, these were delivered as mature species in order for canopy shade to be established as quickly as possible. Finally, the project has also delivered additional new playground equipment, made possible given the very favourable tender result and final construction cost providing an added benefit to the school and community not originally scoped in the tendered drawings.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

Passive design strategies have been used to allow the Gymnasium to operate comfortably without the need for extensive airconditioning or heating. Insulation is provided not only to the roof, but also to the full extents of the walls, and rigid insulation is also provided below ground slab. As Ballarat can be an environment of extremes, this insulative ‘coat’ allows the internal spaces to remain temperate during sub zero temperatures, by providing a base stable internal temperature. Natural air is brought in through low level fans, with hot air exhausted at the high point of the roof. Two large high level industrial fans provide air circulation and an evaporative cooling effect for sports players. These are virtually tuned to provide optimal air flow in warmer weather, increasing comfort in hot weather conditions and allowing extended usage and curriculum delivery beyond sports activities. Southern diffuse natural light allows for reduced glare amenity, and reduces the requirement for artificial lighting, whilst a deep undercover ‘eave’ surrounds the northern and eastern aspects, protecting from inclement weather and also reducing heat load in winter. All external glazing is high performance double glazing to allow the building higher levels of internal comfort without the need for mechanically augmented systems and fresh air is controlled by ‘smart’ C02 sensors distributed throughout the internal spaces, which continually monitor for occupancy levels and introduce fresh air as required automatically. Rainwater is also being harvested from the new roof for use in irrigating school grounds.

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