The Regional Bowls Centre in Vogel Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt, is the new home of the Naenae Bowling Club, which moved from its old site in Witako Street and amalgamated with Park Avenue Bowls Club.
It is now the home for the Naenae and Taita RSAs, as well as local petanque and darts clubs.
Built on the site of the old Park Avenue Bowls Club, the complex boasts indoor and outdoor bowling greens, a commercial kitchen that services the centre’s restaurant, a bar, billiard tables, multipurpose community spaces and new clubrooms.
The $6.25m facility is said to be the best bowls facility in New Zealand and considered world-class. It has become a sports and community centre for the Hutt Valley.
Designed by Tennent Brown Architects, the project consisted of a clubroom building that was constructed with LVL engineered timber to provide a wide-open space. The indoor bowls greens building – one of the few indoor greens in the country, required Hawkins to work with the specialist artificial surface contractor who was employed directly by Community Facilities Trust. The artificial green was stretched to international standard.
The indoor green is covered by a distinctive xanadome-type tensioned membrane roof, which is very strong yet flexible. The membrane is designed to withstand extreme weather, strong wind gusts and seismic activity. Installed by specialist contractor Structurflex, the membrane allows natural lighting to illuminate the space during the day.
The long-span roof is structurally independent from the walls and consists of four steel arches held in place by the membrane and tension cables. Sliding windows create cross-ventilation so that the space is not too hot and condensation doesn’t build up on the inside of the membrane.
Specialist LED lighting was installed for the indoor green. While the fixtures hang down, the lights shine upwards and reflect off the roof membrane to provide an even blanket of lighting which casts no shadows on the green. When the lights are on at night, the whole roof glows.
The Regional Bowls Centre also had a tennis court which Hawkins refurbished. This involved resurfacing, line marking and fencing. Hawkins also completed extensive landscaping works and a 50-space carpark.