Tennent + Brown create a breathing shell for play and community wellbeing
The ASB Sports Centre is a community indoor sports court facility created to promote physical wellbeing for the people of Wellington, NZ. The building is designed to attract users and be instantly recognisable as a community sporting facility. Located adjacent to the international airport the project acts as a gateway to the city, enlivening the coastal arrival journey with a distinctive presence.
The centre design is ambitious in its aspiration to provide a high performance indoor sports space with a high degree of permeability to light, air and connectivity to its context. The maritime form of the roof softens the bulk of the building and locates the building in its harbour-side context. GRP vaulted skylights in the massive 1.4ha roof provide filtered top-lit light allowing considerable use without artificial lighting. The staggered precast panels of the walls allow for the building to breathe and provide connection and views between inside and out.
These strategies are innovative for indoor sports courts in NZ which are typically black boxes relying on extract fans and lighting. These sustainability strategies reconceived the quality of environment for court play, offering day-lighting and a sense of openness whilst embracing players and visitors with an illuminated expansive structure. Protected from aggressive maritime winds, the automated operable louvres between the precast wall panels and in the central roof depression use the stack effect to draw fresh air through the sports chambers.
Whole of life costings on all major elements, solar thermal hot water, and public transport initiatives further the sustainability of the project for the city.