Located on Auckland’s North Shore, Westlake Girls High School has a reputation for high achievement. With a focus on encouraging students’ personal best, the school wanted to enable increased use of their netball and tennis courts, by adding an all-weather canopy to shelter players and spectators.
Planning is predicated on giving formal expression to the visual and performing arts, the two main threads of the centre, through a gallery and performance space. A dialogue is established across a north facing, multi-purpose courtyard, and the foyer and shared function facilities are used to link the two.
Strong and lightweight, the canopy includes a combination of synthetic fluoropolymer and fluorine-based plastic fabrics stretched over curved steel trusses. Additional structural shaping is given to the fabric by a series of ‘flying’ compression struts between each pair of trusses, creating a highly visible structure adjacent to the Northern Busway and Motorway.
The canopy shelters four netball courts and six tennis courts, allowing training to continue in any weather. An indirect light¬ing scheme provides glare-free light for national-standard night play, with light reflecting off the underside of the fabric.
In use day and night, the structure has become iconic and is a much-loved part of the school. The improved conditions are helping more and more students engage with and enjoy sports, and reach goals that will set them up for success later in life.