Thursday, 23 June 2016

Guest Post Featuring Ed Stambulic from Insite Architects

Ed Stambulic from Insite Architects joins us to share the process of breathing new life into a local sports pavilion in need of an upgrade.

I had previously worked on a number of local sports pavilions when InsiteArchitects were briefed of designing a new extension to a cricket and football pavilion located in the new residential estate of Laurimar, Doreen, an expanding suburb in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. These jobs can be very satisfying because sporting clubs are so entwined with the local community, however they are often limited by shoe-string budgets, and require re-use of dilapidated and under-performing buildings.

When I arrived at the first site inspection I was completely caught by surprise to find an intriguing building using pre-cast concrete roof and floor structure, natural timber and bespoke design elements that immediately had my mind whirring toward an equally bold and striking addition.

It really was a fish out of water. On further investigation we tracked its history to a Sydney based architect who’d been experimenting with demountable buildings. This one had found its way from originally serving as a house, to then an estate sales office, and finally disassembled again, to take on a new life as a sports pavilion. Despite its obvious flexibility and merit, it was struggling to meet the demands of the growing sports clubs, and the local council required the addition of four change-rooms and ancillary spaces that could be easily constructed and had multi-functional capabilities.

In this way the existing building came to inform the new design. The choice of Aramax as a roofing system worked perfectly as a light-weight counterpoint to the heavy individual upturned concrete roof trays of the old pavilion.  Likewise, the large Aramax profile provided a fittingly bold statement, and referenced the zig-zagging walls and strong elemental forms already present.

I have always enjoyed using products and materials in ways other than their intended use. In this case the use of Aramax on a relatively small building created a nice play on scale – as did the contrast with the mini-orb profile found on the upper walls.  I also experimented with other materials, such as roller door sheeting, which I used as a wall cladding above the roller doors.  This was all composed within an expressed structural steel framework, offset with patches of natural timber cladding.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Aramax freed us from the limitations of conventional materials. It made possible a columnless viewing area, negated the need for ceiling structure and contributed to construction efficiencies. The challenge of working with a new product was met with enthusiasm from the builder, Shultz Building Group, whose collaboration and attention to detail on this project was outstanding.

Not having used Aramax before, this project was something of a leap of faith.  We have been very pleased with the result, and we’ve been happy to see the sports clubs adopt their new home with plenty of enthusiasm.

About Insite Architects
InsiteArchitects has 25 years experience in a broad range of sectors including, childcare/education, community, health, housing, commercial office space and mixed use development. We are a client focused, commercial practice committed to providing successful and innovative outcomes that are creative, sustainable and commercially viable.