2017 National Architecture Awards: Commercial Architecture Award

Willinga Park by Cox Architecture Commercial Architecture: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

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.


Cox Architecture
Project Team
Chris Millman (project director), Nugroho Utomo (design associate), Paul Millwood (project architect), Alexandra Arnold (interior designer), Stuart Mitchell, James Badgery (documentation)
BCA Norman Disney Young
Builder Construction Control
Civil consultant Robert Bird Group
Electrical and mechanical consultant Norman Disney Young
Hydraulic consultant Vital Design
Interior designer Sally Hieatt Interiors
Landscape consultant Oxigen Landscape Architects, DZ Design
Lighting consultant Lighting Design Partnership
Structural consultant AWT Consulting Engineers
Site Details
Project Details
Status Built
Category Public / commercial
Type Sport



Published online: 2 Nov 2017
Words: 2017 National Architecture Awards Jury
Images: Alina Gozina


Architecture Australia, November 2017

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