About the project
Activate! Queensland 2019–2029 is the Queensland Government’s 10-year strategy, outlining the new collaborative direction for physical activity and movement in Queensland. Critical to the success of this project is the human centred design strategy. Through an engaging stakeholder and consultation process, Conrad Gargett delivered a responsive site master plan, staging and architectural design that transformed the former Townsville Sports Reserve into a vibrant precinct including:
- Three indoor multi-purpose courts
- Indoor rock-climbing wall
- Accessible change rooms and amenities
- Sports equipment storage
TSP is welcoming, accessible and responsive to the community aspirations, connecting the Townsville and a broader North Queensland community through this vibrant sports hub. The existing synthetic athletics track, playing fields, conference facilities and grandstand are thoughtfully retained and upgraded, whilst new additions, including the multi-use courts and associated facilities provide greater opportunities for varied community participation and engagement with the precinct.
Conrad Gargett developed multiple (master planning and staging) design options for stakeholder engagement and consultation. Our findings from our site analysis, detailed assessment of options and stakeholder consultation underpins the design project response.
From a siting perspective, the facility activates a previously under-utilised portion of the site preserving valuable green space on the balance of the site. With access from both the north-east and south a permeable street is established through the facility through a breezeway access.
Taking cues from Castle Hill / Cootharinga, a long recognised geological feature of Townsville, the building form emanates the angulation of the giant granite monolith to the site’s immediate south. The metallic coloured steel cladding wrapping the built form activates the TSP indoor sports complex as sunlight moves across the undulating façade creating shadow and depth of colour, referencing Castle Hill.
The main entry and rock-climbing wall captures a significant view towards Castle Hill, anchoring this building to place. Further, Townsville Sports Precinct maintains important view corridors and sightlines to the broader sports precinct along its edge rationalising the pedestrian network to support wayfinding and engagement within the site.
The positioning of the Indoor Sports Complex considers future expansion, preserving a corridor for a new 1,600 seat Grandstand to flank the Athletics Track and improved access for the broader community, including support facilities for the Sporting Wheelies.
The site is located in a Dry Tropics Region affected by seasonal heavy rain and cyclones. This is a key consideration in planning the site, and covered walkways are integral with the design. The strong breezes throughout the year are from the south-east through to north-east, the naturally ventilated building is openable to facilitate natural ventilation at ground level to optimise player and spectator comfort.
The design supports the Activate Queensland Strategy by:
- Creating an open, friendly and welcoming place;
- Connection to the surrounding environment; and
- Increasing local and broader community awareness of the Precinct.
The design and functionality of the precinct accessibility provides:
- Increased access to physical activation facilities;
- Enhanced street appeal that is inviting to the public;
- Creation of a community place which encourages increase in participation and socialisation;
- Accessibility and functionality that meets the needs of diverse community and sporting clientele;
- Be modern, fit for purpose and includes connection to the surrounding environment; and
- Ability to operate in casual / community mode which effectively manages child protection and security.
The design achieved a cost effective, safe, functional, accessible, and flexible sporting precinct. The additions reference and build upon the existing architectural form establishing a consistent site identity and supporting the delivery of the Activate! Queensland Strategy by;
- Promoting greater community accessibility to the precinct;
- Providing places and spaces that invites an active lifestyle;
- Providing a community space which is welcoming and inviting; and
- Encouraging increased participation and socialisation.
2023 AIA Architecture Awards — Regional Project of the Year, North Queensland Region
2023 AIA Architecture Awards Commendation — North Queensland Regional Public Architecture