The standalone changing room on the fringe of a sports field is the traditional approach to providing facilities for organised sports – but what if a new building could leverage off established landscape and neighbourhood connections, include public space that goes beyond the needs of teams, and meets the wider recreational needs of a growing community?
Today’s recreational areas are more than just Saturday morning sports destinations; they’re also a place for everything from family picnics and sausage sizzles through to cultural festivals, wedding photos and markets. At Barry Curtis Park you’ll find an approach to sports amenity design that caters to recreational evolution with an adaptable and robust pavilion and a plaza that is also an anchor and visual marker for the park’s southern end. This design is not just grounded within the context of its place – it’s designed to adapt to a growing community whose future needs are not yet fully known.
Functionally, the pavilion accommodates spaces for sports event management, and provides teams with bathrooms, storage and changing rooms. In addition the building draws in community users and is flexible enough meet varied needs. It establishes a finer grain to transition between the vast park and the surrounding suburbs, between nearby homes and the park’s networks of paths, fields, playgrounds and wetlands.
The mandate for the plaza was the outcome of a discussion about ways to encourage continual community use. Previous experience shows that community rooms are often underutilised, and that the provision of a cafe can be a stereotypical response that is difficult to justify. The design team and client envisioned a space that was open-source and adaptable – plug and play rather than predetermined in use. Instead of a single cafe, the plaza can host multiple food trucks or scale back to host a simple sausage sizzle or coffee cart.