Allen Jack+Cottier Architects designed this beautiful, canoe-inspired Milson Island Sports Stadium, which is tucked away on a quiet site north of Sydney. Designed as a retreat for disadvantaged youth, this multipurpose sports hall has a strong focus on health and social equity. Bookended by two large glazed walls, the crisp, curving plywood skin was inspired by the shape of an upturned traditional canoe.
Built to accommodate a wide array of indoor activities from basketball to dance performances, the sports hall consists of a robust steel frame fitted with an acoustic slotted plywood ceiling. The rounded roof shape helps mitigate wind forces and eliminates the need for downspouts and gutters. Rainwater easily slides off the edges of the curved structure and pours directly into the rock gardens below for natural filtering and collection.
To keep the building cool during Sydney’s intense summers, the architects installed twelve wind turbines and a series of floor mounted air ducts to ventilate the building. At night, the arched canopy is visible through the ceiling-to-floor glazed façade, creating a beautifully illuminated backdrop to the adjacent campsite. The lighting coupled with the glass strip that runs along the sides of the building also give illusion that the arched sports hall magically floats above the ground.