Willinga Park by Cox Architecture
Commercial Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects
This rural project successfully mitigates a complex brief by delivering a series of inventive pavilions carefully integrated into an extensive landscape celebrating equine sport. The Equestrian Centre, covered arena and polocrosse field are all deftly sited by the architects, forming distinct precincts. Each thoughtfully takes on a form responding to use and orientation, inviting public access while generously accommodating invited visitors and VIP guests.
The Equestrian Centre comprises a series of overlapping folding roof planes designed to scoop in cool breezes and shield the spectators and dressage arena from the western sun. Luxurious finishes and facilities are designed to attract influential patrons globally. The expansive proportions of the covered arena are remarkable. Its grandly scaled sawtooth roof is contained within a copper frieze floating on impossibly thin black posts. The visual weight of this structure intensifies the appreciation of landscape and of the dressage below.
The more modest polocrosse pavilion is sited on top of a viewing berm, its finely detailed roof blade cantilevering toward the polo field. Buildings are unified by rustic natural materials designed to strengthen the landscape experience. This expansive place provides an immersive habitat, celebrating connections between human, nature and animal that are amplified by confident form-making.