WA Institute of Sport: setting the new benchmark

A new home for the Western Australian Institute of Sport provides a daily training environment for 285 high performance athletes, over 28 sports, and 14 dedicated programs.

The result of a collaboration between Sandover Pinder and dwp|suters, the $33.73 million WAIS High Performance Service Centre forms part of the HBF Stadium lease from The University of Western Australia and sits on 5400sqm of prime land in Mount Claremont.

Spread across 675sqm, the heart of the facility is home to the strength and conditioning centre, with extra space around each exercise station allowing plenty of room to move for disabled athletes. This has resulted in significantly improved preparation for a record number of 17 paralympians making the trip to represent Australia in Rio later this year.

Sandover Pinder + dwp|suters spent considerable time with coaches and technicians to refine the brief and specific project requirements, and spoke to coaching and management staff of other facilities including the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

“WAIS is the Australian Centre of Excellence for throwing and jumping sports, and it was by working with suppliers in Queensland and manufacturers in Europe that we were able to develop a bespoke solution that allows for multiple throwing sports, accommodates the filming of throw and jump activities, and can be mechanically retracted out of the way to allow pole vault activities to occur in the same space,” explains David Karotkin, Project Director and Managing Director of Sandover Pinder.

Sports design leader and dwp|suters Senior Associate Mike McGrath adds that a specialist fabrication company was selected to design the 48m-long runway, which rises on hydraulic arms to provide an incline to assist pole vaulters to pick up speed when approaching the pit. “The result enables the athletes to expend energy on practicing their plant and vault rather than on reaching required speed to vault effectively,” he said.

In order to test, record and analyse the performance of athletes, specialist cameras and force plates were incorporated as well as recesses, rails, power and data connections, and bespoke frames to accommodate the specialist equipment.

Australia’s most advanced hydrotherapy centre also now resides at WAIS, with a cold pool (12-degrees), active recovery pool (28-degrees) and warm spa pool (38-degrees).

The list of features in this state-of-the-art facility goes on; an “altitude hotel” that allows athletes to sleep and live in a simulated altitude environment; a physiology laboratory with one of the largest environmental chambers in Australia and the only one where heat, humidity and altitude can be independently controlled; administration and support areas on the first floor that have been designed to accommodate 75 staff and their needs for the next 30 years; and 70 car bays.

Read the full story in Indesign issue 65.


Sandover Pinder


Western Australian Institute of Sport

Furniture sourced from Innerspace, Burgtec, Stylecraft and Advanta.


Photography: Robert Frith, Acorn.