WA Basketball Centre

Completion year 2009

Civil, Structural

Sports, Culture & the Arts


Key People

Grant Thornton

Structural Project Engineer, Principal

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This modern, award winning development includes a new undercover basketball hall for 6 courts plus 2 show courts, an undercroft parking area as well as attendant offices, change and plant rooms, function rooms and circulation areas.

The WA Basketball Centre structure is often referred to as similar to a circus tent, with the structural design considered to be quite impressive.  It is asymmetrical in cross sections with an undercroft parking area to the western third and an internal 3 storey component in the middle third of the building.  The northern end is supported off 11 masts each 35m high with cable stays down to ground and to the roof structure creating a tensile structure.  The southern end is anchored into the ground with screw piles thereby providing lateral restraint.

The outcome is a steel structure with precast and conventionally cast in situ concrete elements, all of low maintenance requirements, that in plan,  has a unique slender fuselage shape orientated in an east/west direction with an incision on the northern side interrupting the cladding to give a clear sense of entry.  To WGE it is more than just a circus tent!

This structure is visually very different and exciting on the eye, inviting closer examination.  It stands as a monument to innovative engineering and design flair and will go some way in encouraging an awareness and desire to be involved in the engineering profession.  These are some of the reasons it won two highly commended awards by the Australian Steel Institute and Consult Australia on completion.