Sydney Swans HQ
Sydney, NSW, Australia
CHALLENGE. Sydney’s renowned Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park has undergone a remarkable transformation into the Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre. This state-of-the-art facility, completed in early 2023, serves as an exceptional sporting and community hub, while preserving the historical significance of one of Sydney’s treasured heritage buildings.
Located within the heart of Sydney’s sports precinct on Gadigal and Bidiagal land, Sydney Swans HQ has become the new home for the Sydney Swans men’s and women’s teams, and the QBE Sydney Swans Academy. The new centre works to foster an enhanced level of connectivity between players, coaches, and staff, unifying the club around the captivating indoor field in the heart of the centre’s barrel-vaulted core. Additionally, the development has created a vibrant hub for Sydney Swans members, offering matchday opportunities for fans and various spaces that can be utilised by the community all year round.
By repurposing and revitalising this beloved landmark, the Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre stands as a testament to the adaptive reuse of historical architecture and a showcase of the city’s commitment to both sporting and community engagement.
INNOVATION. A necessary pillar to establish a Sydney Swans women’s team, the new Sydney Swans HQ provides elite training facilities for both the men’s and women’s programs. It’s also home to the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, which provides an elite training pathway for 700 young boys and girls across New South Wales.
Adjacent to the main hall, a brand-new international standard basketball and multi-purpose court forms a modern extension to the traditional Federation exterior. With Hoops Capital as the primary tenant, the court is utilised by the Sydney Kings, Sydney Flames and their basketball academies with wider community usage available to local sports groups.
The Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre features state-of-the-art high-performance training facilities and administration offices. Centred around and indoor field, the new HQ houses a gym, medical offices, wet recovery pools, coaching, academy and administration workspaces, players locker rooms and lounge, an auditorium to accommodate up to 90 people, a production studio, learning centre, and a large dining hall with commercial kitchen capable of holding functions for up to 300 people, along with an outdoor terrace. Spaces are made available to external organisations and community groups to hire, further strengthening community engagement.
The magnificent new Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre is a monument to the vision, the dedication, and the hard work of so many people. I’m confident these new facilities will drive even more growth through the youth Academy as well as supporting the extraordinary surge in AFLW, inspiring the next generation of women and girls.Anthony Albanese / Australian Prime Minister
IMPACT. Drawing upon Populous’ expertise in designing elite training facilities, the design team embarked on an exploration of optimal program layouts within the existing state-significant building. They skilfully devised a solution that met the needs of the men’s and women’s teams, and QBE Sydney Swans Academy, while simultaneously paying homage to the iconic building’s distinctive character. The outcome was a state-of-the-art training facility that seamlessly blends contemporary functionality with the timeless charm of the Royal Hall of Industries.
The transformation of the Sydney Swans HQ extends beyond architectural enhancements; it prioritises community engagement. Now serving as a vibrant hub, the renovated facility has become a prominent gathering place for the Sydney Swans community, consisting of more than 65,000 members and a dedicated fanbase of around two million people. Additionally, it proudly houses two esteemed not-for-profit Indigenous outreach groups—the GO Foundation and Clontarf Foundation.
The Royal Hall of Industries boasts an impressive facade on all sides. Its presence along Driver Avenue defines the streetscape, while adding a picturesque touch to Moore Park’s landscape.
Populous aimed to restore the brickwork facades and steel shell of the Royal Hall of Industries to their original state, minimising modifications that could compromise its authenticity. Throughout the refurbishment, Populous carefully identified and showcased spaces of grand symmetry, allowing the building’s existing volumes to be expressed throughout. Embracing a ‘loose fit’ interior design style allowed the original volumes and features to shine through, enhancing and restoring the structure’s unique charm. As an adaptive reuse, the project hopes to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating in the future.
The transformation into the Sydney Swans HQ has breathed new life into the Royal Hall of Industries, repurposing it as a world-class sporting and community hub. Populous’ commitment to heritage preservation and architectural excellence guarantees that the legacy of the building will endure for generations to come.
The new home of the Sydney Swans pays homage to the rich history of both the club and the building. Warm and natural tones, coupled with an injection of team colours and art symbolic of the club’s Indigenous connections, create a welcoming and energised ambiance within the historical structure.
The interior concept harbours both natural and artificial lighting to invigorate the fitout and provide an ever-changing environment. Preserving the existing historic windows and views, while illuminating workspaces and circulation paths with new skylights and subtle lighting strategies have enhanced the building shell and heritage features. Overlaid with a calming introduction of greenery through the workspaces and bold inspirational graphics in training spaces, the interiors guide the mood of its occupants.
The interior design of the Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre marries a profound respect for history with a strong sense of identity and unwavering commitment to a prosperous future. The level of finish achieves a crisp and contemporary aesthetic while preserving the building’s historic charm. This thoughtful design creates a welcoming and inspiring space, where players, staff, and visitors can come together to celebrate the spirit and success of the Sydney Swans and their proud 150-year history.
- Master Builders Association NSW Excellence in Construction & Fitout (FDC Construction)