Karratha Leisureplex

Located at the gateway to the main street, the Karratha Leisureplex is an iconic building that is the very definition of a community centre. This major complex has many different facilities for as many different groups of people. Outside there is an aquatic complex with a 50-metre pool, leisure pool, and kids’ splash pad. Inside it boasts function and meeting rooms, a café, gallery, office tenancies, indoor gymnasium and a three-court sports hall.

This facility was designed for a wide range of community groups, including pre-school and parent groups, high school groups from the adjoining Karratha High School, music and drama, and conventions. And it needed to cater to audiences for small local performances, as well as crowds to international touring events. All of these groups, all of these activities, and often all at the same time, created a unique planning and design solution.

The brief asked for a response that needed to feel like the complex belonged to the north-west of the Pilbara. The built form reflects and interprets the rock formations for which the region is so famous.

The Pilbara is equally famous for its red dust. Our challenge was to find a material that didn’t become stained and look like it’s permanently covered in a blanket of red dust. The solution was a material that doesn’t hold the red dust or reflect the landscape’s red colour – meaning the building retains its crisp fresh identity and iconic look, with minimal maintenance.

The Karratha Leisureplex is an iconic building that is the very definition of a community centre.

The built form reflects and interprets the rock formations for which the region is so famous.