Striking architectural gold in Ballarat with Fielders ARAMAX®


The stunning new Delacombe Stadium in Ballarat West successfully marries sustainability and practicality with contemporary design, while functioning as a high-quality sports facility that also provides a ‘front door’ and added resources to Delacombe Primary School.

The grand vision of leading Melbourne practice, Kosloff Architecture, Delacombe Stadium has been shortlisted for multiple categories in the 2022 Victorian Architecture Awards.

Previously, Delacombe Primary students didn’t have a dedicated gymnasium and were required to use an old centre adjacent to the school, but it wasn’t at competition standard, and provided poor internal comfort levels due to a lack of insulation and ventilation.

Detailed elements of the brief called for a new indoor facility that would provide maximum use opportunities for a broad user base, including school students and staff, local basketball and netball associations as well as other sports clubs that would use the amenities as an extension of the neighbouring community sports field.

Additional briefing items were for the project to provide a high-quality internal series of spaces that would be welcoming and warm, and appropriate for a range of activities beyond sports.

The facility benefits from passive design strategies which allow the gymnasium to operate comfortably without the need for extensive air conditioning or heating. Insulation has also been applied to the roof, and full extents of the walls, while rigid insulation is also provided below ground slab.

A key component of the exterior design is the application of Fielders ARAMAX® cladding, which has been specified for large sections of the building’s exterior walls, providing visual impact while complementing other building materials used on the project.

As well as making a strong visual statement with its broad pans and pronounced angular ribs, this structural cladding also delivered cost efficiencies, according to Kosloff Architecture Senior Associate, Lance van Maanen.

“The deep profile of ARAMAX® cladding is useful at the scale of a large structure, such as a sports stadium, as it exaggerates the typical lightweight cladding profiles normally used in buildings of this type,” Lance said. 

“Beyond this, the ability to have a cladding component that spans between top and bottom structural sections allowed for a reduction in wall structural components. The installation was also fast once contractors established the best install method.”

On the Delacombe Stadium build, ARAMAX® is paired with an eclectic range of materials but a particular highlight is the relationship with a polycarbonate cladding which has been applied on the southside of the project – at certain times of the day it appears solid while turning translucent at night.

With a similar profile and dimensions to ARAMAX®, the two materials work seamlessly, according to Lance.

“The external material palette is divided horizontally into two distinct components, the textured grey brickwork with natural timber to soffits establishes a solid ‘base’, with the light-coloured upper gymnasium box in ARAMAX® and polycarbonate is a singular form, that is intended to blend with the sky/background during the day while transitioning to a lantern at night,” Lance explained.

Delacombe Stadium is the first occasion in which Kosloff Architecture has used ARAMAX® cladding on a project, and Lance said that the team at Fielders was extremely supportive throughout the build, particularly during the early stages.

“The pre-construction support provided by the team at Fielders was instrumental in getting the product over the line, and gave us the confidence to select ARAMAX® as a first time specifier of the system,” Lance said. 

“We were convinced that the ‘buildability’ of the product was strong and would also meet the desired design intent outcome – we couldn’t have done it without their early input.”

Since having completed Delacombe Stadium, Fielders ARAMAX® has been specified for another Kosloff Architecture project – for the roof to an open undercover playing court area – and is also being considered for several other builds.

About Fielders ARAMAX®

Fielders ARAMAX® sheeting allows for huge spans of up to 20 metres with no purlins or girts. This enables the designer to eliminate the cost and complexity of the buildings secondary structure. The ARAMAX serves as a visually stunning and structural component of the structure, reducing cost without compromising performance.