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Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility

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Project Name

Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility

Project Status


Year Completed



Australian Football League (AFL), AFL Victoria, Sports & Recreation Victoria (SRV), Port Melbourne Football Club (PMFC) and City of Port Phillip


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Project Description


Awarded winner of the 2015 Australian Timber Design Awards Sustainability category, Port Melbourne Football Club
Sporting and Community Facility is a single storey community space which achieved an exemplar rating using the Sustainable Tools for Environmental Performance Strategy (STEPS) scorecard.

Completed in 2015, the facility is located in Victoria, Australia and includes low energy light fittings, sustainable plywood linings and extensive use of plywood in place of plasterboard, with the use of plasterboard limited to the administration offices. Further ESD initiatives include underground rain water tanks for toilet cisterns and landscape irrigation, solar hot water units, exhaust systems with makeup air, low energy and high performing mechanical supply air conditioning systems. The building is also highly insulated, exceeding minimum standards and includes doubleglazed thermally broken glazing systems.

The design solution around this high efficiency rate came from the use of an open trussed ceiling, open ceiling grid system incorporating customized lighting using off the shelf items, perforated metal feature panels that double as acoustic treatments and material selection preferences locally made by off the shelf building materials. Sustainably sourced materials selections included modular carpet tiles with 90% post-consumer content backing certified by CRI Green Label Plus. Engineered timber flooring with low maintenance and low VOC coating suited to chemical free cleaners were also adopted.

The project was designed around the retention of all healthy trees and those trees which were assessed as unhealthy by Council’s Arborist where removed to make way for the building. Each tree in turn was replaced with seven new trees that were planted across the site. Contaminated soil on the site was re-used and re-blended to clean fill status. The soil was relocated to other parts of the site thereby diverting landfill impacts whilst reducing the associated costs of relocating soil as contaminated soil.

The facility includes a 200-person capacity function room, administration offices and stores, meeting and conference rooms, commercial kitchen and bar. The building itself is made up of two parts connected by a pathway which delivers and connects visitors through the building to the sporting precinct beyond. The rear part of the pavilion reflects the industrious nature of its interior program - amenities, kitchen, stores and cool rooms. The front part of the pavilion is clad in Stringy Bark and shaped around the internal program of social spaces. What appears at entry to be a flat shed like form opens up to give 180 degree vista of the North Port Oval with floor to ceiling Low-E openable glass windows to ensure unobstructed views to the on-field activities from the comfort of the inside.

The project was jointly funded by the Australian Football League (AFL), AFL Victoria and Sports & Recreation Victoria and was delivered within a tightly controlled fixed budget. The construction efficiency rate was achieved via a value managed design process, which in turn enabled a high level of design innovation.

The overall design concept was to create a building reflective of its surroundings. Embedded in the hillside, the form of the building echoes the raw industrial context of the vernacular seen in the local context of Port Melbourne. This is also reflected in the materiality as the exterior is made up of a minimal palette of concrete, glass, wood and steel. The timber cladding both interior and exterior serves a dual purpose to conceal and reveal the program within as well as retain the amount of glazing required as budget constraints for the project meant glazing was devoted primarily to the viewing space.

The ‘V’ form that appears on the East and South elevations was adopted as a subtle reference to the buildings purpose as home to VFL and its form was used to enable the building to lift and rise to secure view lines through the building to connect people with the game.

The Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility is unique in its honesty and reflective of its context. Its interior appeals to the open trussed roof of the heritage listed Norm Goss Grandstand; whilst its external shape is reflective of the styles and shapes that pervade the precinct. Timber was used with free form simplicity to create a dynamic and highly sustainable building that Council and Community could afford where other materials or construction methods would not have been able to deliver the same amount of floor space, functionality and volume or quality of outcome.

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