From the architects:
The key concept was to concentrate maximum activity, encouraging Students, athletes, academics, sports administrators, and local community sporting clubs to come together, concentrating their energy, talent and experience in one vibrant, efficient, centralized hub.
More than just an academic centre, the LaTrobe Sports Park is a community destination that is active day and night, weekdays and weekends.
It meets the demands of Community sport and contributes to the student experience addressing health and wellbeing and cohort experience through team sport.
Sports administration is centrally located and facilitates pedagogical experience through the alignment of high-performance athlete management and data driven performance assessment.
Elite sport and recreational participation are visible with the central hub encouraging the natural collisions and cross-pollination that bring about discovery and inspiration.
State-of-the-art sports science technology, advanced physiology and biomechanics labs are integrated seamlessly into the design.
The outdoor football field runs right into the building and outdoor plazas are the axial link to the Agora, the social heart of the campus, the centralized transportation interchange and further integrates the sports park with the broader campus that was previously annexed by Kingsbury drive.
The massing of the building addresses patron and employee experience from the canopy that envelops, protects and collects to the north and accommodates the technical height and mass demands of the Court environments.
The double height teaching and tenancies spaces are encapsulated within an aligned mass of the courts structure and enable views both into the court environment and out the west overlooking the external sports fields, Darebin Creek and to the CBD beyond.
The testing and analysis Biomech and Strength and conditioning labs address the external synthetic soccer pitch and the massing ties foyer, staff facilities, café, amenities and bicycle storage and plant in a homogenous wrapped ribbon of façade.
Achieving a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built rating for sustainable building practice puts the project in a class of its own. It is a showcase for other projects of this type and scale such as shopping centres and industrial buildings, by implementing a high-performance façade and roof, a natural ventilation strategy to the courts, high efficiency service systems and implementation of water storage and over 500kW PV array that generate a surplus of renewable energy.
The masterplan allows for expansion of facilities and sporting codes over time. The plan is designed to limit disruption and future capital expense, and to ensure that additions can be efficiently integrated with the current facilities.
The monetary and health and wellbeing value of an efficient design that collocates and accommodates the functions of academia, sport management, community sport and elite sport requirements provides a facility that will positively contribute to the community and university life for years to come.