Wiigulga Sports Complex
Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Mixed-use Venues, Training Facilities
Australian Football, Cricket, Events, Netball, Pickleball, Soccer, Softball, Training and Development, Volleyball
Architecture, Interior Design, Wayfinding
Located on the northern beaches of Coffs Harbour, the Wiigulga Sports Complex celebrates and connects many people, cultures, histories and natural features.
The $28.8 million-dollar multipurpose sporting facility opened on the 3rd of December of 2022 offering to the community a breadth of sporting and community events. Working with local elders from the Gumbaynggir and members from the local Sikh community Populous sought to create a local sports and entertainment complex that was accessible and adhered to cultural sensitivities.
A mix of outdoor AFL and cricket fields with running and bike path surrounding the complex allows the locals of the community access to premium sporting locations promoting health and fitness.
CHALLENGE. With such a diverse population of cultures residing within the community it was important for Populous and the Coffs Harbour City Council to create a design that paid homage to these communities whilst remain respectful and creating an engaging design.
INNOVATION. The building’s positioning was designed to provide a beacon for visitors. Four key functional spaces make up the plan including the entry foyer, multi-purpose function room, the hall and performing arts space, plus an additional amenities pavilion to service the playing fields. The multi-use spaces aim to be as efficient as possible to provide for a diverse and ever-changing community and the design intention was to help reinforce the strong history of teaching for the next generation providing a space that encourages growth and learning.
The main hall functions as an adaptable space that can accommodate many different forms of functions with a fully functional staging area with a 800-person capacity mode for performances to 1,000 persons capacity for various functions with a built-in commercial kitchen for catering as well as multiple courts for sports such as pickleball, basketball and netball. Next to the hall are the three smaller function spaces or Sangeet rooms and a sensory room creating an atmosphere of inclusivity and acceptance of all who enter through its doors.
IMPACT. The multipurpose sporting complex creates a chance for the local community to use the space for multitudes of events, functions and sporting activities. It is also culturally significant development that allowed local members of the community within different cultural groups to be heard in the design process creating meaning to a building meant for that community.
- Australian Institute of Architects NSW Country Division Commendation Public Architecture Award