Regional Soccer Facility in Ballarat by k20 Architecture

published in sb 5/2016

From miners rebellion to sports competition

Designed by k20 Architecture to enhance the spectator’s experience and bring the viewer closer to the playing pitch, the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility BRSF provides leading edge sporting and social facilities for elite A level as well as international level games. The building plays an important role in creating a link to the past whilst providing a valuable stimulus to the cultural, economic and social sustainability of the community.

Completed in 2015 and designed as a series of stages that form part of a masterplan for the site, stage 1 includes the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility building, a 2 star FIFA rated turf playing pitch and a synthetic training ground.

With Ballarat’s rich cultural heritage in mind, the concept of the Eureka Stockade wall emerged as the leading design principle and enable the facility to be built in segments and in stages as various funding streams became available over time. The Eureka rebellion, which is often referred to as the ‘Eureka Stockade’, is a key event in the development of Australian democracy and Australian identity. The Battle of the Eureka Stockade was fought between miners and the Colonial forces of Australia on 3 December 1854 and named for the stockade structure erected by miners during the conflict.

Stockade Wall with historical reminiscence

In contrast to the hastily constructed barricade, the stockade wall by k20 Architecture is designed to embrace the community and protect the building’s program and playing field from the prevailing winds and harsh western sun. The wall emerges from the landscape and is made up of equal proportions of grey ironbark, spotted gum and stringy bark. 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.

Customised design looking into the heart of the club

In addition to the distinct and rugged outline of the Stockade wall, the BRSF building is characterized 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 honour wall and function rooms visible via the double height glazed entry.

The coach’s boxes were 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.

Insulation, ventilation, reduced carbon footprint

Passive solar design features include high-level extended eaves to reduce heat load on the building, double-glazing throughout and high levels of insulation. The west façade is protected from solar gain through ventilated façade and reduced glazing. The roof was designed for solar photovoltaic collector installation and for rainwater collection for toilet use. Natural ventilation is maximized via the inclusion of thermal chimneys providing stack effect cooling and natural ventilation to change rooms, and mixed mode heating and cooling through an under floor air-plenum to the first floor. Recycled and local timber was sourced 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, reduced water use fittings and operation, low VOC paint, durable finishes for lower maintenance and longevity, carpet with 40% recycled content and end of life recyclability. Locally sourced and manufactured materials and components achieve approximately 80% of local content outcomes. The grandstand seating is 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.

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. This was highlighted by its selection from a pool of national sports facilities to host Bahrain’s national soccer team in the 2015 Asian Cup. The masterplan for the site will allow to continue to expand the facility in the future, and achieve the Council’s vision of a 10,000 seat stadium.