Latrobe Local News:
Churchill Football Netball Clubrooms receive design award
Tropic Design Group has won the ‘Best non-residential design of public buildings/special structures’ award
By Latrobe City Council - 17th September 2001 - Back to News
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Tropic Design Group has won the ‘Best non-residential design of public buildings/special structures’ award presented by the Building Design Association of Victoria, for its design of the newly rebuilt Churchill Football Netball Clubrooms.
Tropic Design Group is based in Traralgon and has been in operation for seven years. The business is owned and managed by Richard Northover and his family. Structural Engineering was carried out by WA Moore and Associates of Traralgon.
Mr Northover said he had been very excited to receive the award. "We believed the design of the Churchill Football Netball Clubrooms was innovative and practical and deserved recognition. However, we were surprised and delighted on the presentation evening, when our design of the new clubrooms was announced as the winner in its category," Mr Northover said.
"When fire destroyed the old clubrooms, I was asked to help out, by coming up with a design for a replacement building. Having assessed which local companies had indicated they were prepared to assist in the way of providing building materials at cost to the club, I had a fair idea what materials could be used in the construction to their best advantage, and the ideas for the design flowed from there.
"The guys at the Club had difficulty with the concept when I first showed them my designs. They were thinking only in terms of what nearly every other club building looks like, a rectangle of bricks. I had to do a lot of talking to get them to accept that there were alternatives that would deliver them a clubroom which would be the envy of every visiting team," Mr Northover said.
"Fortunately the club was ultimately swayed to accept the design and once we got started on the project, you could see how proud they were of what they were building. They reckon it’s fantastic now."
Mr Northover explained the building incorporated exposed trusses and a central valley gutter. "It is basically a steel and glass building that is designed to give club members and visitors a panoramic view of the game, no matter whether they are a child or an adult. There’s a great sense of involvement," he said.
Councillor Darrell White said the building, located on Council land at Gaskin Park, was not just an architectural triumph, but the building had been embraced by club members and the community of Churchill and district.
"There was a real sense of community involvement in creating the new clubrooms and I know there’s a great sense of pride in what has eventuated under the project coordination of stalwart member, Mike Bissett. The broader community of Churchill and district including the Churchill Lions Club were terrific volunteers throughout the project," Cr White said.
"Gippsland Group Training were involved in fabricating much of the steelwork, local companies and even some from as far away as Melbourne were generous with materials and expertise, and the community laboured to produce a stunning building.
"The internal characteristics are exciting and different. The acoustics and lighting are sensational, making it a tremendous place for social events and a place where the community can celebrate. It’s a real case of the phoenix rising from the ashes," Cr White said.
Secretary of the Churchill Football Netball Club, Kevin Rennie, said club members had some initial concerns when the design of the project was proposed but were now delighted with the clubrooms.
"This is a building to be proud of. When fire struck the club in January 1999 and destroyed our memorabilia, photographs and trophies, some going back to the turn of the twentieth-century; it dealt the club and our whole community a tremendous blow. We now have a fantastic facility and can work on trying to locate trophies and memorabilia that may be in private hands, to restore some of the club’s visible history," Mr Rennie said.
"If there are people in the community who have kept or inherited old club photos or memorabilia, we would appreciate them contacting us with a view to replacing some of what we have lost," Mr Rennie said.
The Churchill Football Club can be contacted on 5122 3033, or contact Kevin Rennie after hours, telephone 5122 1164.
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