The brief originally called for two independent facilities to house the Whangarei Academy of Gymnastics and Northland Athletics. However, it was decided that the Gymnastics and Athletics Centre’s should be combined. As a result the building was designed with a more holistic approach also providing facilities for the adjoining Kensington Park sports fields.
The Athletics Centre required a covered stand with a seating capacity of 500 and associated control office and photo finish room – all to be arranged along the finish line of the recently completed all weather track. This required the closure and redirection of the road at the beginning of the project. Ten state houses also occupied the site and were either relocated or demolished before the project could begin.The athletics facility includes a lounge with kitchen and toilet facilities plus storage and meeting rooms, to cater for the existing Athletics and Harrier Clubs, which were previously scattered throughout the Whangarei District.Whangarei Academy of Gymnastics required a 49.0 x 32.0 building with an average height of approx 8.0m, to be used for training and national level gymnastics competitions.During the design development it was decided that the Gymnastics and Athletics Centre’s should be combined. As a result the building was designed with a more holistic approach also providing facilities for the adjoining Kensington Park sports fields.New public toilets, changing rooms and referee’s areas were included for the rugby field that is located within the inner area of the athletics track.The building itself was designed to maximise the potential for natural light and ventilation whilst still retaining good thermal insulation. Careful attention has been paid to minimise the intrusion of direct sunlight whilst reducing the need for artificial lighting.