Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility

With Ballarat’s rich cultural heritage in mind, the concept of the Eureka Stockade wall emerged as the leading design principle and enabled the facility to be built in segments and in stages as various funding streams became available. The original Eureka stockade was a makeshift wooden barricade enclosing about an acre of the goldfields. The Eureka rebellion, which is often referred to as the 'Eureka Stockade', was a key event in the development of Australian democracy and Australia's sense of identity.

The new stockade wall which encloses the stadium, designed by k20 Architecture, aims to embrace the community and protect the building’s program and playing field from the prevailing winds and harsh western sun.

The striking, geometric wall emerges from the landscape, comprising equal proportions of grey ironbark, spotted gum and stringy bark. Its curvilinear form in plan is the starting point for the stadium that contains the grandstand with 500 seated capacity, conference and catering facility for 200 people, external viewing decks and players' change rooms, media rooms, and sports administration facilities.

In addition to the individual and rugged outline of the stockade wall, the Ballarat Regional Soccer Club Facility (BRSF) building is characterised by distinct sectional cuts to the north and south, accentuated by bold black skeletal forms and flashes of red in the eaves, the team colours of the host team the Ballarat Red Devils.

The entry to the building allows a visitor to see into the heart of the club with the clubs honor wall and function rooms visible via the double height glazed entry.

Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility was selected from a pool of national sports facilities to host to Bahrain’s national soccer team in the 2015 Asian Cup.

The design concept for this project emerged as a response to clients brief to provide a stadium for world-class soccer.

The facility is unique in that it has been designed specifically for the soccer community of regional Victoria. As a result, k20 Architecture was able to customize the design to emulate the experience of a world standard soccer stadium. This is illustrated in the alignment of the primary player’s race to the centre line of the playing pitch, which enables players of all ages and standards to experience key aspects of playing on the “big stage”, usually only seen the realm of elite level competition.

The facility has recently been selected as a finalist in the 2016 Sport, Recreation and Play Industry Innovation Awards, Facility Design and Development Category. The facility has been designed to enhance the spectator’s experience and bring the viewer closer to the playing pitch. The coach’s boxes are also designed to be transparent with the grand stand elevated above the ground level to create a direct viewing line to the playing surface. The internal function rooms and catering facility also has important social and economic benefits to the club and broader community.

Sustainable design innovations were intrinsically linked to the design as well as the development of sustainable design innovations in this project. Passive solar design features include high-level extended eaves to reduce heat load on the building, double-glazing throughout and high levels of insulation. Natural ventilation is maximized via the inclusion of thermal chimneys providing stack effect cooling, and mixed mode heating and cooling through an under floor air-plenum to the first floor. k20 Architecture sourced recycled and local timber to assist with carbon sequestration, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.

A high level of environmentally sustainable materials and fittings were incorporated and include low energy light fittings, low VOC paint, durable finishes for lower maintenance and longevity, carpet with 40% recycled content. Locally sourced and manufactured materials and components achieve approximately 80% of local content outcomes.

The grandstand seating is also made of recycled plastic while the timber is used from shading to external glazing. The grand stand was manufactured using off the shelf pre-built concrete construction planks.

Designed to drain with the utmost efficiency- 100 Milliliters of rain in 30 minutes, the playing pitch is one of the highlights of the new facility.

Although it continues to evolve, with a master plan for future development still “in play”, the completion of Stage One of the BRSF provides a world-class home for soccer in the region.

Its curvilinear form in plan is the starting point for the stadium which contains the grand stand with 500 seated capacity, conference and catering facility for 200 people, external viewing decks and players change rooms, media rooms, and sports administration facilities.

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