Externally, it’s plain to see that the The Glasshouse community and function centre at the Collingwood Football Club is a very architectural building. Its sweeping roof rake, triangular soffit patterns and leaning facades are obvious and suggestive of a design team that has searched for a resolution beyond the norm for a function centre.
Less obvious is the role of the building’s materiality in highlighting these architectural features, but this is something that the architects stressed should not be overlooked.
Designed by Croxon Ramsay, The Glasshouse is wedged between an Olympic swimming pool and a full-size community oval on an elongated triangular site. The new building divides elite player facilities and event spaces for the public across three levels and includes a café, bars, multiple hospitality spaces, a lecture theatre, a gymnasium, players’ rooms, storage facilities, meeting rooms and a boardroom.
The footprint of the site, say the architects, is the protagonist for the design. The geometric triangular shape is a constant on the exterior and within the interior of the zinc brick building. This theme is accentuated by the building’s diverse materiality which combines and contrasts in shapes and colours to form patterns that highlight architectural features.
The matt finish of the zinc material and uninterrupted detailing combine to contribute a monolithic faceted form that appears to have been carved from a solid piece
At one end of the site, in the tail-end of the building to the north, is the bar and café with an outside seating area and access to the Glasshouse can be approached through the café
Two types of bricks, a 50mm dark zinc glazed brick from Austral and a 50mm Charloise cream also from Austral, were chosen for the building’s low section for a variety of reasons. The two colours contrast to delineate the private and public spaces, but also match the colours of the Collingwood Football Club (black and white). The 50mm profile, says the architects, also helps to visually break down the large expanses of brick and provide a more crafted outcome, particularly on the south façade.
Above the brick plinth is where the building gets interesting. Glass and metal cladding rise to a diverse range of architectural features in either black zinc or natural anodised aluminium. Like the bricks, the black zinc provides a gesture to Collingwood Football Club but the material was chosen for its softness and workability, allowing for a greater intricacy in detailing particularly around the faceted north and east facades.
The solid anodised aluminium panels provide a very flat and rigid façade and were chosen to contrast with the zinc to highlight and delineate architectural features. Using solid aluminium panels, says Croxon Ramsay, provides more flexibility in detailing of the panel edges and junctions over composite aluminium panels. Panels edges can be left exposed for a visually sharp edge.
High-tech glazing systems were developed and installed for The Glass House
Strip lighting highlights the soffits and again reinforces the ubiquitous triangular shapes within the design
White cladding was used at the back of site to create a visual connection to the former Olympic swimming pool building.
The Glasshouse also has a highly functional interior and adopts a range of sustainability initiatives, but it is the building’s façade that is the most immediately obvious. Its unique form and varied geometric shapes were provided by the architect’s imagination and answer to site conditions, but their emphasis came thanks to a the choice and availability of building materials.
VM ZINC INTERLOCK SYSTEM
CUSTOM SOLID ALUMINIUM SYSTEM
CUSTOM STRUCTURAL STEEL SYSTEM
VIRIDIAN SUNERGY THERMOTECH IGU
EDGE ARCHITECTURAL GLAZING SYSTEMS FRAMING MAX 150.
VIRIDIAN SUNERGY THERMOTECH IGU
VIRIDIAN SUPERGERY THERMOTECH IGU
AUSTRAL BRICKS ELEMENTS 50MM ZINC BRICKS
AUSTRAL BRICKS 50MM CHAROLAIS CREAM
BLUESCOPE LYSAGHT KLIPLOCK