2019 Melbourne Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Image Credit : John Gollings



Project Overview

The Kalora Park Sports Club Extension is the home of the Narre Warren Football and Netball teams. With the magpies as their logo, the original (and legendary) facilities were adorned with black & white streamers and became a clear reference point to celebrate the long history and nostalgia within the club whist galvanizing a sense of optimism for a more inclusive and accessible space. Built on a shoe string budget, with many donated hours from community, this citizen lead initiative has already become a well-loved contribution to country life.

Project Commissioner

Narre Warren Football Netball Club

Project Creator



Project Architect: Scott Woodward, Monique Woodward, Andre Bonnice, Issy Jooste, Zoe Diacolabrianos, Jean Spencer, Nikita Bhopti, Isobel Moy, Sarah Exner

Project Brief

Cheap, fun & classy was the mantra for the project – cheap as we had limited funds, fun because it was a family space for all ages, and classy for best & fairest and other functions. This was seen especially in the bathrooms: The shiny black tiles are a bit classy. The liquorish allsorts bathroom colours came from a photo of the team. Among the black & white, teal is in the junior jumpers, fluoro yellow and orange from their boots, slightly dead green grass – fun! And, being just paint colours rendered this technique cost effective. The black & white brick window sill trim is another example of simple joy within the project.
Traditionally the juniors, seniors & netball players would celebrate games one after the other - now the whole community comes together at the same time in the large oval facing space.

Project Innovation/Need

The start date is listed as the 2014 State election – the date the Coterie officially received funding, but the project was conceived 8yrs before as a business plan which received limited traction. Having a family connection to the board, WOWOWA joined pro-bono to design and visualise the space garnering instant excitement and emotional buy-in, the project received bipartisan support at the 2014 State election. A photograph was published in the local paper showing the Labor Minister, the President and Monique Woodward (a WOWOWA director) all holding a card model of the scheme. This building is proof of Architecture’s ability to help co-create projects with lateral thinking, political engagement and alignment with community groups to use our design thinking & skills – a new method of procurement.

Design Challenge

How to free span a space to seat 180 people on round tables for best & fairest events. WOWOWA worked with a key club sponsor, Drouin West Timber & Truss on long range upside down cranked trusses each spanning the exact distance to simply screw fix full sheets of acoustic echopanel and black ply.
Prioritising robust eye level materials, the base of the building was brick, with an internal timber ledge. Which allowed the top to be lighter and glow at night as a lantern within the suburbs.


How to ensure an engagement with nature doesn’t get value managed out – emotional buy in with the initial renders of the project. WOWOWA designed in the base level planter boxes to soften the edge of the building and ensure landscape architecture framed the sports club. Scott Woodward also selected plants from the Indigenous plant register for the local area and planted them himself.
The pre-WOWOWA scheme called for the who facility to be demolished but instead the original rooms concrete slab was retained and worked with – this is tectonically expressed as the large under croft space for punters willing to brave the cold, then the building steps towards the ground.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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