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Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre: TAMWORTH
by Timothy Court and Company



Client, Stakeholder, Public and Cultural Needs Tamworth Regional Council's original concept 20 years ago changed greatly due to the realisation that the Centre would become an icon at the gateway of the city and had the potential to become a centre of excellence and learning for the equine and cattle industry globally. The Masterplan had to be expansive enough to encompass and unify the entertainment and sporting precinct of Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre and the Athletics Oval whilst incorporating the Pastoral & Agricultural Society facilities from the Old Showground in a tripartite "Show Circuit". The Masterplan uses the Main Arena and Selling Centre, as the focal point of the Equine Centre with 480 stables in six buildings and cattle yards for 600 being positioned in a horseshoe shaped cluster around the social precinct of the central courtyard. Conceptual Framework, Relationship of Form to Context The Main Arena incorporates a complex functional layout with large column free spans and has a strong relationship to the rural context of the site and the surrounding landform. The initial inspiration of the building form was the spectacular mountain range that forms the backdrop to the City, with it's rolling mountain tops, stepped valleys and craggy spires which forms a powerful skyline silhouette to the fantastic "big sky country" of the Liverpool Plains. A link has been created with the centre's "grass roots" cultural relationship with the equine and livestock industry by the use of a stylised Australian shed vernacular that epitomises life on the land and it's entwined

heritage with the growth of the City of Tamworth. Modern aircraft hanger technology was used for the central building. It's series of stepped, vented arches are elevated above a floating vaulted roof form that terminates in a whimsical fleche capped dome. This is encapsulated with a panelled and fluted armour of corrugated iron with the total building form grounded into the landscape through the intrusion of its catacombed undercroft into the hillside of the site. Program Resolution Since the completion of the complex the equine and bovine industries have rallied in support of the Complex with a resultant booking of 250 days for the first year of operation and a global recognition for the most user friendly facilities of its type in the world. Allied Disciplines The aesthetic integration of the advanced structural technology, in the provision of preassembled, lightweight, long span post tensioned trusses used in the aircraft hanger industry, was paramount to a successful design solution and represented the first stepped roof plane and domed application of the proprietary technology. Sustainability The facility includes natural ventilation systems, wide eaves and louvres to glazing, grey water irrigation systems, a totally isolated roof stormwater collection system, reuse of enhanced topsoil and drought tolerant landscape species. Cost / Value Outcome The Tamworth Regional Council predicts a $40mil. annual return to the city from their $30mil investment through the flow on effects of the events, tourism and accommodation requirements of spectators and competitors.

Timothy Court and Company
Project Team
Project architect: Craig Perrott
Design architect: Timothy Court
Project Manager: John Burton
Structural consultant: S-Squared
Structural consultant: Healey Castle and Associates
Civil consultant: Tamworth Regional Council
Electrical consultant: George Floth
Hydraulic consultant: LHO
Landscape consultant: Tamworth Regional Council
Environmental consultant: EA Systems
Builder: National Buildplan
Builder: National Buildplan
Fire Engineer: Holmes Fire and Safety
Superintendent: Geoff Burrett
Photographer: Timothy Court
Photographer: Timothy Court

Photographs by Timothy Court & Timothy Court, text by Timothy Court and Company

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects