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Milson Island Indoor Sports Stadium

Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

NSW & ACT Entries 2011


Highly Commended, Interior Fitout – Commercial, 2011



This indoor sports stadium is located just north of Sydney on a tranquil island in the Hawkesbury River.

This powerful building was inspired by the traditional Arnhem Land canoe. These canoes were made from a single piece of bark, stripped from a Stringybark tree, seasoned over a fire and shaped by branches. Upturned and propped off the ground, the canoe, by its frugality demonstrated the essence of shelter.

The shape of the building emerged by morphing the ideal shapes resulting from the thermodynamic analysis, the side wind forces, the need to shed leaves and branches and yet collect water and the enclosure requirements.

The design celebrates this integrated thinking by not allowing any visible ridge, eaves gutters, downpipes or skylights on the exterior. The natural thermal ventilation aided by the suction caused by the wing shape demanded a clean crisp interior skin with no visible fixings bracing, wiring or lighting.

The acoustic slotted ply ceiling is integrated to the structural bracing, so that the walls and ceiling carry all the wind loads of 38 metres of building to the ground. The shape of the building reduced wind load by 30%, thus reducing structural sizes and saving money.

A combination of twelve wind turbines and a series of floor mounted louvres ensure the building remains cool in Sydney's fierce summer heat. In winter with the turbines and louvres closed a heat plume forms to act like an insulation blanket.

Attached amenities and storage modules form a strong entry and destination point. Roof water, free from the blockage of leaves and branches, falls clear of the sloping glass slots into an oversized roof garden for natural filtering and collection to water tanks for future use.
Entered into:
  • Timber Flooring, 2011
  • Public or Commercial Buildings, 2011
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