Playing the field

106 Architects URBIS Magazine Interview

This article was written by Justin Foote and originally published by AGM and Urbis magazine, 23 November 2015.

The transition from medal-winning hockey player to registered architect may have taken a few years, but, as Dion Gosling tells Justin Foote, flexibility in all aspects is the key to success.

Urbis: You set up Studio 106 in 2009, is this your first foray into working for yourself?

The tiled floor provides a graphic edge that complements the marble panels.  Image:  Supplied

Dion Gosling: During my sporting career I did contract work for the flexibility it offered. That gave me the opportunity to work on a whole range of projects. There was a connection between sport and architecture initially. Then there was a transition to doing retail and a bit of commercial or office buildings relating to those sports-aligned organisations. Through those networks, the residential commissions started coming in.

Urbis: How would you define your architectural practice?

DG: I wanted to create an environment that was really flexible. We’ve ended up with quite a flat organisational structure and, being small, we can work that way. It’s been positive for everyone’s interest, rather than getting stuck on one project. That collaborative approach is also something we take forward into our larger sports-related projects where we pair up, usually, with a local practice and deliver it together.

Urbis: In terms of the residential work you’ve done, has that been primarily Auckland-based?

DG: We’re doing a lot of villa work in the inner-city area as well as a renovation in St Heliers. We’ve got a two-stage new build in Taranaki, also, so there’s a bit of a mix. The other work we do – the sports stuff and the like – is nationwide. We’ve become quite adept at remote delivery.

Urbis: How is renovation design changing? Are we moving away from the contemporary box on the back of the villa?

Natural materials of marble and timber provide a sense of calm. Image:  Supplied

DG: I think there’s more consideration of context. Our St Heliers project, for example, where we’re working with one in a row of three units – that project is all about peering through the surrounding building stock to open up the views. We set up the idea of moving through the house, and what you experience as you move into some common areas and how you create multiple uses out of individual spaces. Is it just a hallway or can it be a playroom as well? What other purpose can these spaces serve?

Urbis: In a rural setting, where views are not an issue, do you find you tend to design something more enclosed?

DG: It’s about a sense of scale and intimacy. In Taranaki, we just did a simple box with a low-pitched roof and large eaves. Glazed walls and set-backs meant we could open up the view from the courtyard to look right through the open-plan living area, giving the client that connection to the outside while still having an intimate space that was protected from the wind.

Urbis: What’s the process for you when working with a residential client?

DG: It comes down to understanding what the homeowners’ rituals are and what their daily patterns are and how they might use the space during the week versus the weekends. We use cardboard models as a part of that process; it’s amazing what that can do for understanding. It really facilitates discussion, you can remove walls if you want to and, at that initial concept stage, it doesn’t feel as fixed as a computer render might. I’m a big believer in using models.

Urbis: Do you find being able to look at a 3D model is beneficial for the client?

DG: Absolutely. There’s a lack of preciousness at that stage, when ideas can still be tested. Once it sinks in that it’s a collaborative process and that everything is up for grabs, is when you get true results.

Urbis: In terms of spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms – the rooms that get updated the most – how do you ‘build in’ an element of future proofing?

The kitchen connects spaces while also remaining highly functional. Image:  Supplied

DG: The key with those rooms is the experiential aspect of them – the bathroom, in particular. When you enter a bathroom you want it to be a place of rest, almost like an interior oasis. We recently undertook a renovation of a 1960s townhouse. The idea was to go back to a simple shower curtain, but then you get that awful image of a mouldy plastic shower curtain.

So we looked for something you could draw open and which would dry easily. We ended up with a piece of linen that we just looped over the rail and is really easy to wash. We incorporated sauna spruce – a contemporary way of getting some warmth into the space.

With the kitchen, it’s about connection to other spaces and to the outdoors. Gone are the breakfast bars that seal off the living or dining room, and those awful corner cupboards – both of which were supposed to be about added functionality, but I’d argue how true that was in reality.

We’re seeing a trend towards the galley kitchen as a means to open up the spaces and improve the social flow around the kitchen. That’s not to say that the current mode of thinking won’t change; but certainly the ability to connect more spaces, rather than having the kitchen as a barrier, really makes sense at the moment. Also, a kitchen that is simple and functional and not too precious is a big part of future-proofing.

ArchiPro Australia is launching!

106 Architects ArchiPro Australia Foundation Member

ArchiPro Australia is launching 22 October 2021, with tailored Australian projects, products and professionals. With a mission of simplifying the building process and a belief that architecturally designed spaces should be more accessible, ArchiPro is the platform transforming the architecture and building industries by seamlessly connecting those within it.

ArchiPro will launch in Sydney in 2021, with a glamorous opening event (subject to Covid-19 restrictions) designed specifically to showcase the ArchiPro experience to the Australian industry so they see first-hand the benefits of partnering with the platform.

Last year 70,000 people from Australia used ArchiPro, representing 110% in user growth when compared to the previous year. It’s evident that Australians love using ArchiPro and we are now committed to growing this audience by providing our Australian users access to a curated pool of trusted businesses operating within their local market.

ArchiPro’s deeply rooted commitment to simplifying the end-to-end building experience and to the disruption of the traditional and expensive advertising industry remains our core business objective.

With 106 Architects already in bed with ArchiPro in New Zealand showcasing Residential, Recreational, Community and Masterplanning Projects, we are excited to be a Foundation Partner with the Australian arm.

“It’s great to be a foundation partner in Australia to support the launch of ArchiPro. Our partnership aligns with the 106 Architects’ national presence in NZ and recent expansion to Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast – together we’ve got ANZ covered! The platform is such a great resource, is easy to access, and with an amazing visual interface, I am sure our Australian audience will enjoy the curated site as much as our NZ community. It’s wonderful to see others mirror our commitment to the value of the digital world in what we do – welcome to Australia ArchiPro!” Dion Gosling – Director, 106 Architects + Third Place Thinking.

ArchiPro will also be partnering with Woods Bagotone of the world’s largest architectural practices, which will supercharge the adoption of ArchiPro in the Australian market. This partnership is an exciting collaboration that will accelerate ArchiPro’s opportunity to digitally transform the architecture and building industries in Australia.

Here’s what they had to say: “An incredibly useful resource ensuring our teams are at the forefront of intelligent research and sourcing of exemplary products, ensuring only the best for our projects and clients,” – Tracey Wiles, Principal Australian Interior Design Leader, Woods Bagot.

With many opportunities for our clients and our collaborators, we are excited to be involved with this launch and look forward to supporting ArchiPro’s journey in inspiring people to build architecturally designed spaces through their beautifully designed and simple to use platform.

For more information on our Foundation Partnership with ArchiPro Australia, contact:

Annie Salter

106 Architects joins Sport And Play Industry Association

106 Architects SAPIA Member

This article originally appeared on Australasian Leisure Management website.

The Sports and Play Industry Association (SAPIA) has advised that 106 Architects (Studio106 Architecture Pty Ltd) has become a member in its Professional Services Division.

106 Architects is an award-winning community and sport-specialist architecture and design practice dedicated to connecting and strengthening communities across Australia and New Zealand, led by Olympian and Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Dion Gosling.

106 Architects joins Sports and Play Industry Association

The practice advises that we have a “track record and experience cover(ing) multiple codes and sports, across a wide range of projects – from park amenities to regional stadia; elite high performance training and competition venues, regional indoor arena, to local, community facilities and sportsfields.

“(We have) the skills and capability required to help you take your project from concept to final occupation … we live for sports, leisure, and community facilities – having been focused and immersed in fields, courts, tracks, jumps, indoor and outdoor play spaces – sport infrastructure – all our life.

“We are currently working on a range of quality sports and education related community facilities across Australia and New Zealand providing sports-specialist design and technical knowledge.

“Our track record and experience covers multiple codes and sports, across a wide range of projects – from park amenities to regional stadia; elite high performance training and competition venues, regional indoor arena, to local, community facilities and sportsfields.”

Dion Gosling, as Director of 106 Architects, has an innate understanding of the subtleties and technical requirements of outdoor sports fields and indoor sports halls bringing perspective from the athlete, administrator, coach, management and Board level.

Since 1990 when travelling the world as part of the NZ Men’s Hockey Team, Gosling has grown knowledge of global international best practice in order to apply locally. Through roles with the NZ Olympic Committee and now as Chair of the Oceania Hockey Federation Competitions and Events Committee, Gosling is a leader in the holistic assembly of outdoor and indoor sports facilities development.

Selected Services and Reference Projects:


Namatjira Park Masterplan (in collaboration with theCommunityCollaborative.) – a sports and community masterplan incorporating an existing 12.1 hectare reserve site and a 634 hectare wetlands catchment area in Clayton South. The Park provides diversity of opportunities including social, family, sport, recreation, play and environment experiences with a single oval, single tennis court, sporting pavilion, bowls club and bistro, skate park, playground, tennis wall, basketball half court, and dog off-leash park

Colin Maiden Park– a broad masterplan review for tennis, football, rugby, netball, cricket, AFL, hockey along with commercial sports sector support services, including the new two-turf artificial hockey development as a multisport shared club facility

New Plymouth Multisport Hub – a 38 hectare multisport redevelopment over an existing racecourse to include 14 outdoor netball and multiuse courts, artificial football/rugby field, artificial hockey turf, wight outdoor natural grass fields incorporating artificial and natural cricket wickets, cricket training nets, informal play and social zones for events and day-to-day community activities

Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub – a 32 hectare sports field development including full IAAF-certified athletics track, warm up track and dedicated throws high performance centre, 3 FIH Global Elite hockey turf surfaces, community sports fields, 24 hardcourt tennis courts, NRL-standard rugby league facilities

Indoor Arena and Sports Halls

New Plymouth Multisport Hub – a new six-court indoor regional facility incorporating capacity for 3,000 seating for international netball and basketball events, hosting and media facilities, as well as local club-level multicode shared amenities as part of the wider sports park development

Matamata Indoor Community Sports Centre – a new two-court local community development to be located on the Matamata College grounds. The facility serves as a key partnership between school, community and sports users

Fraser Park Sportsville – a new multisport centre located amongst the existing community sportsfields. The facility includes a 600 metre² multiuse indoor activity zone, six squash courts, café, gym, offices, meeting and social function rooms. 8 changing rooms service the outdoor sports of rugby, hockey, football, cricket and an artificial multiuse 3G turf

Outdoor Active Zones & Informal Play Areas

Namatjira Park Masterplan (in collaboration with theCommunityCollaborative.) – a sports and community masterplan incorporating a new skate park, playground, tennis wall, basketball half court, pick-up-play areas, parking and dog off-leash park connected to an existing bowls club and natural wetlands area

The Boroughs’ Basketball Courts – a new five-court outdoor sports project on sites across Auckland. The project aimed to engage youth with outdoor recreation activity using basketball as the catalyst. The project was a public-private commercial partnership between Auckland Council and SPARK (telecom)

Learn to Ride Track – a disused area of hardcourt asphalt – the size of two netball courts – was converted into a temporary Learn to Ride adventure course for the local community. A concept for design was generated by the rich history and cultural characteristics of the local community – the track created simply by the use of road paint

Artificial Turf Sports Fields

A number of artificial sportsfields have been project managed and delivered by 106 Architects – Colin Maiden Park two-turf hockey field development; Metro Park artificial hockey field; Hamilton Boys’ High School artificial tennis, rugby/football, hockey field development project; Bill McKinlay Park artificial football field; Mt Roskill Grammar School artificial hockey turf and natural fields development; Auckland Grammar School artificial hockey and rugby/football field development.

Click here for more information on the Sports and Play Industry Association.

Images: The Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub (top) and 106 Architects’ Dion Gosling (below).

Design Ambition in Architecture

106 Architects Design Ambition in Architecture
A reflection by our Founder + Director, Dion Gosling
I believed the creative industry – at least in NZ’s small-medium design operations – to be nimble, progressive, innovative and collaborative. Essentially culture-driven and design-led, responding to markets and people.
An article heartened me in late-2010 – an interview with Dean Poole and Ben Corban of Alt Group – discussing the value of design-thinking as a key component to the operating culture of their business. They of course, believed it should be part of the operating environment of our country. It’s been a common theme in many of their media profiles.
Design-thinking is more about thoughts and actions; method and process as a way of operating, than objects or a short-term output-based focus. Poole and Corban’s approach resonated well with my own thinking – I have always believed that if you engage with your audience (client, team, family, etc), listen and understand, establish the relationship, build the programme, but also lead, educate and share your passion, you are more likely to get a satisfactory outcome because the everyone has contributed and enjoyed themselves. A design outcome then, is larger than just the end, built form. It is the experience and the journey that matters.
I would suggest that in architecture, this mode of design-thinking and operation is the modus operandi for the minority of New Zealand practices. Put it down to a tough business climate, competitive challenges, or the need to generate a quick-buck, I am not sure. I am not convinced that being design-led costs any more than not being. Those that do it well, by nature have a point of difference, and are more likely to benefit from a complete culture – the eventual output and current working environment.
Design-thinking in architecture is lacking to such an extent that this is one reason, I believe, behind the general poor quality of our architectural landscape and the environments in which we create this landscape.
Why? Because design-thinking and approach is a way of life. It is not a machine, a production line, a template, a formula, a modified predecessor. It is not driven by bottom-line as a first-principle. I believe so much of what we are building is.
And I get the sense people are over the “ordinary” and the mundane and being controlled and living in poorly designed community structures. There is more to our well-being than this. These attributes are not conducive to creativity and exploration and happiness.
But how does this relate to the practice of architecture?
I recall job reviews in the past when I enquired about the future direction of the practice: the type of work we could develop, what contribution we could make, and more importantly, whether there was value in reviewing and developing the culture of the practice in order to grow. To my mind, the culture values within an environment reflect and transcend across every aspect of performance and output. Improving the culture and design-thinking environment would be manifest, eventually, into our projects, retention and growth of staff – bottom-line as a by-product. Plus we’d create a really enjoyable experience.
The response was that I was too ambitious. And when coupled with “do your time”, there was cause for reflection. This was such out-dated performance criterion, I thought. I didn’t think that sort of attitude still existed in the creative world – it was hardly the inspirational leadership for any mode of creative environment. I took it as output-driven and insular.
Not wishing to discount the feedback, I became interested to explore the idea of ambition, not only in exploring the truth (or not) to the review comments, but also to architecture, as a way to understand my own short-comings and those of the industry sector. Reviews like this allow the questioning of our outlook and process – a critique of development and knowledge. After all reviewers are more experienced and knowledgeable and charged as mentors for our industry – there was something to learn here, or so I respected.
Under these terms, I read ambition as a negative characteristic; a stunter to growth and value. Maybe there was truth to this. Ambition may be aggressive, threatening even, to others. Overt or extreme ambition could indicate insecurity or lack of confidence – quite possibly on both sides of the review table. Dulling ambition, I concluded, was a mechanism for protection and control, the fear of losing a commanding or hierarchical position; of being exposed.
Oscar Wilde referred to ambition as “the last refuge of failure”. In the Wilde context ambition could be construed to mean that the act and display of ambition was to cover a fear of failure. This was in part undoubtedly true, but a design response may have been more around “how do we construct a support network and create an opportunity to test this question of existing practice culture?”. Simply, “how can we help?” and “are we gaining the best out of our environment?”
Ambition can be also be present as a subtle undertone and of a quiet self-confidence. A desire to capture an idea, present it, challenge it, inspire others with it, build it, grow it. A steady and consistent belief operating in the background.
In architecture, ambition has been represented as loud, large-scale (as in ancient Roman structures) and in detail (as in Scarpa) for both a notice for non-failure and self-confidence. Ambition is also present in the passing of the vision from client to architect, to consultant team (we refer to them as the “design team” for a reason), to contractor, to sub-trades. A process bedded in actions and thoughts, and the sharing of culture values across the lanes of design.
I believe as architects we have a responsibility to contribute a design-led culture to our projects and the teams we work in. No one else in the team will introduce it nor will they be inspired to follow if we don’t present it at an intrinsic level. It is not about adding objects or frivolous fanfare – that will only get cut by the QS and Project Manager – it is about creating process everyone can take part in and something that becomes part of the underlying fabric of the brief. It is not an applied condition. It is not as a result of technical repetition – it can’t be – because almost everyone else on the team will be looking to extract it at the first review. If design becomes part of the reason and basis for how the unique and specific team works – the culture – ambition may well be subtle enough to be present in the built outcome.

What is a Sports Architect?

106 Architects | What is a Sports Architect

Quite simply, a Sports Architect is an architect specialised in sports facilities and related structures. Buildings from arenas to community centres and playgrounds to training venues all fall within their scope of expertise. Often the stewards of Third Place Thinking™, Sports Architects like Dion Gosling are committed to providing neutral and inclusive places for social gatherings and community togetherness.

What you may not realise is many good Sports Architects have a personal connection to the work they do. A lifelong involvement in sports sometimes leads individual architects down this particular path. After all, who knows the ins and outs and subtleties of our sports facilities more than experienced athletes? A Sports Architect combines professional expertise with personal fervour for the best of both worlds and a love of Third Place.

How do Sports Architects differ?

An Architect is a licensed professional driven by technical skill, practical understanding, analytical ability plus creative flair. They collaborate with clients and community members to help transform environments for the better.

As dedicated designers for sport, recreation and leisure, a Sports Architect is a specialist at heart. They explore, interpret, guide, support, and lend technical expertise to architectural projects for sports and community outlets.

For 106 Architects’ Founder Dion Gosling, his elite high-performance hockey career and grassroots community involvement granted him worldwide access to sporting facilities. These experiences inform his architecture to consciously connect sports and community.

Sports Architects recognise how expertly designed sporting facilities can enrich the entire community, especially the lives of our youth. With that in mind, they focus on projects that have the power to connect communities via the universal language of recreation activities. They overlay and imbue intimacy, scale, volume, texture, history and tradition while considering client and users’ unique cultural values.

Why hire a Sports Architect over a normal Architect?

Unlike a typical architect, Sports Architects have devoted much of their careers to sport and leisure. Their portfolio of related projects highlights successful examples of sports venues and spatial solutions in 3D. Some may choose to subspecialise in particular building types or sporting events depending on personal preference.

You may also find that many architects specialise in one area or another to set themselves apart. Just like any other industry, someone with years of skilful experience is perfectly positioned to deliver. A generalist may meet qualifications, though the level of nuance and subtle understanding doesn’t compare. If the devil is in the details, hiring a specialist is your ticket to success. 

What kind of services does a Sports Architect provide?

A Sports Architect provides all manner of sports-related services. They avail themselves to communities, groups and individual clients for sports and spatial counsel. For example, a Sports Architect may meet with community members to conceptualise the transformation of a sports park through a Masterplan. Understanding a space’s current uses and limitations from the users themselves helps steer sustainable future design.

Beyond individual considerations, a Sports Architect is often tasked with meeting the needs of various stakeholders. For example, a large sports stadium may need to accommodate athletes, coaches and spectators while heeding community concerns. Their role is to honour the perspectives of various voices when developing a Third Place and collective venue.

As is often true of public spaces, local government also has a say. Sports Architects work in tandem with city council members, university staff and other authority figures. These facilities must adhere to local and national regulations and meet all planning requirements. Beyond this, detailed design and documentation along with project management are skills in the long list of service offerings.

What does a Sports Architect do?

Fundamentally, a Sports Architect fulfils all the responsibilities of a traditional Architect for sports-related and community projects. They conceptualise a building or facility from early sketches to final blueprints and oversees project completion. Everything from building materials to budgetary considerations is added to a Sports Architect’s list of responsibilities. As with all architectural projects, the specific nature and duration of tasks vary by project.

A Sports Architect is also responsible for understanding the needs and options of their client and end-users. Many sports-related buildings are designed as public and/or community spaces with various activities and people in mind. Some facilities may serve as leisure centres for families and the general public, while others target specific professional leagues. No matter the project, a Sports Architect outlines purpose and priority when creating Third Places.

As mediators themselves, Sports Architects balance the needs of various stakeholders for any given project. A company may contract a Sports Architect to build an arena, which, in turn, will be used by local sports teams. Parents, team members and local government officials offer unique perspectives, and a Sports Architect creates a mutually beneficial design. These creative professionals combine form, function and finesse for the greater good. 

Who would be the main customers/clients of a Sports Architect? 

Sports Architects serve many populations, though their projects involve community interests. For example, a Sports Architect may partner with a university or school to build a facility for its student body. In that case, the client itself would be an institution and their community, a smaller segment of that group.

In other instances, Sports Architects may serve the needs of local government interested in building or renovating a community space. A local parks department may wish to add a building for leisure or recreational use to its property with the general public in mind. It might also create a community space meant for a particular sport or population whose needs would shape the building design.

At what point in the process would we get a Sports Architect involved?

In many ways, Sports Architects are like any other Architectthey’re involved in a project from the very beginning. A Sports Architect can work with Recreational Planners and other strategic thinkers to prepare an early needs analysis or feasibility for a project. There are sites to assess, people and groups to get to know, uses and collective visions to understand long before construction begins. A Sports Architect stays with you from project conception to completion.

Remember that Sports Architects are there to help, so you need not know everything before getting started. Consultations are often helpful for clients who wish to explore project feasibility at an early stage. As with any other project, architectural planning starts early.

Contact your Sports Architect – Dion at 106 Architects + Third Place Thinking™ – as early as possible to maximise your options.


106 Architects + Sports Environment Alliance Align!


106 Architects + Third Place Thinking™ are excited to announce their new alliance with Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) as #SEAassociatemember.

At our core, we are about designing sport + recreation facilities that are our Third Place – that safe and inclusive space between work and home – that considers the preciousness of our environment too.

SEA is focused on supporting environmental leadership and advocacy of the sport community.

With a mission to lead, educate, and inspire sport community members to learn, share, and act for a more sustainable and regenerative Australasia, we look forward to building a strong relationship together and becoming part of the growing environmental sustainability movement in sport.

Dion Gosling, 106 Architects + Third Place Thinking™ Director and specialist Sports Architect explains “The relationship with SEA began with Tiffany Cherry, SEA Board Director, at our meeting with Simon Madden on the virtual talk show Simon Says in October 2020. We were again co-presenters for the 106 Architects + NGV Melbourne Design Week event in March 2021.

There was a good fit for each of our fundamental ideals around the environment in which we live, and having a positive impact where we can. Essentially it is about people and place – the basis of people and the environments in which we live, in synergy.

The sports + recreation sector aligning for a common goal is like any team campaign for a major event. An Olympic-style campaign is ahead of us in order to achieve success in the care of our environment – the social, the physical and the designed worlds all coming together is a powerful thought.”

Dr Sheila Nguyen, CEO, Sports Environment Alliance, adds “We are excited to welcome 106 Architects/Third Place Thinking to the #SEAFamily as our newest #SEASupporter. We look forward to supporting their journey towards making the world a better place through learning and collaboration with our {sport & planet} network.”

Working with SEA to protect the places where we play for generations to come is something we all look forward to, collaborating on ideas, to create environmentally and socially sustainable designed sports and community facilities.


For more information, or to enquire about joining SEA’s growing community of change-makers click here or contact

For 106 Architects + Third Place Thinking™ queries please contact:
Annie Salter, Digital Marketing + Social Media –

Trusts Karakare Surf Life Saving Club gets new $3.3m headquarters

106 Architects | Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club

This article was written by Anne Gibson and originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald online newspaper and has been reproduced in part with their permission.

A west Auckland surf club headquarters with rotten timber and a rusting iron roof has been demolished and replaced by new $3.3 million premises due to open in July.

Matt Wade, club captain of The Trusts Karekare Surf Life Saving Club, said the new building was the first of seven club upgrades planned across the region in the next 10 years.

Karekare’s rip-torn black sand beach which featured in the film The Piano has an increasing number of visitors and more pressure was on the club to provide services.

The relatively recent installation of a surf cam has also seen a higher number of surfers taking the winding road down to beach.

A new concrete masonry structure replaced the old damp run-down timber structure severely damaged by rot and topped with a rusting roof, he said.

View the entire New Zealand Herald article, originally published 23 May 2021, here.

A 106 Architects project, the final inspection of the new Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club is Thursday, 17 June 2021. It’s been an epic community journey to get to this point with a project commitment since 2002, and with a huge community funding drive to achieve the funds needed!

For more information on this project, contact

2021 Rugby World Cup Dates Confirmed!

2021 Rugby World Cup Dates Confirmed!


→ Matches will take place between 8 October–12 November, 2022 in Auckland and Whangārei

→ RWC 2021 tournament window increases from 35 to 43 days

→ Match schedule prioritises player welfare with five-day minimum rest days

→ Revamped format with all fixtures to be played on weekends with triple-header matches scheduled per day

→ New Rugby World Cup 2021 brandmark unveiled, including bespoke te reo Māori version for tournament promotion in New Zealand

Rugby World Cup 2021 will feature increased rest periods for all teams following World Rugby’s confirmation of the revised tournament dates which will now see New Zealand host the tournament between 8 October and 12 November, 2022.

With the ambition of super-charging the schedule for players, fans and the host nation, the tournament window will be extended from 35 to 43 days resulting in all teams having a minimum of five rest days between matches. This aligns with the approach recently approved for the men’s competition.

The extension of the tournament window, also allows for a revamped tournament format that will see all matches take place on Saturdays and Sundays, with no overlap, meaning fans will not miss a moment of the first women’s edition of a Rugby World Cup to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere.

With the tournament starting later in the year players and fans will benefit from warmer weather and longer daylight hours. The pool phase will be played on the weekends of 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 October, 2022 at Eden Park, Northlands Events Centre in Whangārei and Waitakere Stadium.

The quarter-finals will take place on 29-30 October followed by semi-finals on Saturday, 5 November. The bronze final and RWC 2021 final will be played on Saturday, 12 November, with Eden Park set to create history by becoming the first stadium to host both the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup finals.

A detailed match schedule and broadcast timings will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the revised tournament dates, World Rugby has also unveiled new tournament brandmarks retaining reference to 2021, the year the tournament was originally intended to take place, while conveying to fans and audiences that the tournament will now be played in 2022. A bespoke te reo Māori version of the new brandmark has also been designed for tournament promotion in New Zealand. This reflects the importance of te reo as an official language of Aotearoa, New Zealand and to signify the desire to celebrate the unique Māori culture for all those connected with the tournament.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are fully committed to accelerating the women’s game at all levels and while the postponement was disappointing for everyone, it has provided the unique opportunity to review every aspect of the event to ensure it is the best it can be for the players, fans around the world and the wonderful and enthusiastic New Zealanders.

“Longer rest periods between matches for all teams is further commitment to delivering comprehensive player welfare standards at RWC 2021.

“I would like to thank all stakeholders for their support and open-minded approach to this process and we can now look forward to a truly spectacular Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022.”

International Rugby Players appointee to the RWC board, Melodie Robinson, said: “While it’s disappointing that the 2021 tournament had to be postponed, the positive is that we’ve been able to ensure the 2022 event and subsequent Rugby World Cups will have a minimum 5 day turnaround for players.

“Just like the men’s tournament, this will hopefully help to level the playing field for all sides and see an increase in competitive matches.”

Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director Michelle Hooper saidWe are delighted that together with World Rugby we have been able to further super-charge the women’s game here in New Zealand with the confirmation of the new dates in 2022 and the amendments to the tournament format. We are excited to be hosting Rugby World Cup here in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

“The momentum for women’s sport is continuously building and we look forward to demonstrating this to the world through the unstoppable energy that will be on display during Rugby World Cup in 2022. We can’t wait to welcome the world’s best women’s rugby players to our shores and share the Manaakitanga so intrinsically linked to our people and our place and rugby in Aotearoa, New Zealand with them and their fans.”

In a commitment to delivering an outstanding Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022, earlier this year World Rugby announced a £2million funding package to support a Rugby World Cup 2021 high-performance preparation and competition programme for qualified teams and teams still competing in the qualification process.

The programme will focus on providing teams with additional monetary support with deliver additional team training camps and coordinating international competition to give them the greatest opportunity to be at their best in New Zealand next year. Further details will be announced at a later stage.


2021 Rugby World Cup Dates Confirmed!
2021 Rugby World Cup Schedule – playing in 2022

dwp appoints Dion Gosling as Design Director Sports + Rec

dwp appoints Dion Gosling as Design Director, Sports + Recreation

Growth has seen Architecture firm dwp | design worldwide partnership catapult, sparking the need for newly created roles. Today, 106 Director Dion Gosling joins dwp as Design Director and Sector Leader, focusing on Sports and Recreation facilities. He also assumes the role of Studio Director in New Zealand.

Dion, a leading architect for sports, community and recreation facilities and former NZ Hockey Black Stick Olympian and New Zealand Commonwealth Games silver medallist, has an innate knowledge of sports and community projects, from the high-performance elite environment to the grass-roots community level.

This has been shaped by years of personally interacting with local and international facilities.

Since retiring from international hockey in 2005, Dion has successfully combined his two foremost passions: sports and architecture, establishing 106 Architects (formally Studio106 Architects) in 2009, specialising in masterplanning, design, and delivery of sports and recreation facilities across Australia and New Zealand.

With over 25-years’ personal experience and empathy for recreation and leisure-based social structures, working with multiple stakeholder groups with varying levels of complexity is what Dion does best.

“I’m thrilled to be joining dwp – it’s a global design practice with a long and wonderful track record for quality sports and recreation projects in Australia.  I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of their work; the people within the organisation; and their ambition to explore better outcomes for people and places in our communities.” 

“Successfully connecting our community sport with our high-performance environments is something that drives me along.  It’s perfect timing with the Brisbane Olympic Games focus and the challenges facing local-sport, returning post-COVID,” said Dion.

“With dwp, I’m excited about working with a diverse range of clients – across multiple codes – and to immerse myself in learning about their needs and challenges.  I can’t wait to unlock new ways of tackling sport and recreation problems, and working in partnership on the basis of ‘designing together’ to help them achieve their objectives, their Third Place.”

Group CEO, Michael Hegerty, said “We are experiencing unprecedented opportunities against a challenging public health emergency and associated economic context.  As a global business, we are investing in public wellbeing and our sport and wellness portfolio. So we are absolutely delighted that Dion Gosling is joining our team to lead our sports and wellness capability for dwp across the world. He is a hugely respected architect and sports campus masterplanning specialist.

Dion as an Olympic athlete and a top tier sports practitioner. and commonwealth games silver medalist, he has unique insight on how sports facilities are used and how we can make them better.  

We are equally excited to be establishing a presence now in New Zealand with Dion joining.  Like many countries where dwp has design studios, Australia and New Zealand have weathered the storm of the pandemic to date, a new travel bubble is in place and dwp are stepping up to help rebuild our communities”.

About dwp |  design worldwide partnership

dwp bring to the table a wealth of knowledge in the Sport + Leisure sector. For 25 years they have been a global architecture and design practice that has completed award-winning work.

Currently located in Australia, Asia and the Middle East, dwp offer high-quality worldwide architecture and design services.

For more information, contact:

Dion Gosling |



[EVENT] Third Place – Transforming Everyday Public Spaces

NGV Melbourne Design Week 2021 + 106 Architects

106 Architects + NGV Melbourne Design Week 2021

How will design transform and shape life in the future development of community facilities?

Designers are rapidly reimagining our built and social environment. From speculative structures to breakthrough approaches this theme explores new wave design-thinking in the context of our community and sporting infrastructure.

From the platform of Third Place thinking, our mix of creative professionals will share, build, then intersect their perspectives for how we might transform our community places and spaces.

Each presenting speaker will unpack their interpretation of the impact of design in shaping our social infrastructure of the future. Participants will be encouraged to transform their own community ideologies, as they imagine within the fields of our presenters’ perspectives.


Simon Madden
Sports and Business Leader

Tiffany Cherry
Sports Media Commentator & Active Board member with SEA – Sports Environment Alliance

Dion Gosling
Sports Architect & Director, 106 Architects

James Mant
Urban Planner & 20-minute Neighbourhood Lead, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Martin Sheppard
Strategic Thinker & Founder of the National Sports Convention

Nikki Langman
International Speaker & Emotional Intelligence Specialist

Join us as we discuss the future transformation of community spaces with Third Place thinking.

→ Date + Time – Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 11:00am – 1.30pm AEDT.
→ Location – Moonee Valley Racing Club, McPherson Street, Moonee Ponds.
FREE tickets via Eventbrite.

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV. It is also supported by Parks & Leisure Australia – VIC/TAS chapter.

NOTE: We realise with COVID restrictions and with the fragile nature of events that not everyone can attend and participate in person. For those who purchase FREE tickets, we will also make available a recording of the presentation. Complimentary car parking for those who do attend will be provided in the Centre Car Park at MVRC.

We are hiring! Architecture Graduate – Melbourne

106 Architects | We are hiring - Architecture Graduate

Need a change to your current office environment and life challenges? Are you seeking to make a worthwhile contribution to interesting projects?


106 Architects is a small, well-established architecture practice that provides specialised global professional design and project management services for a range of clients. Our collaborative design team works with clients who are focused on sports, community, and leisure projects, as well as bespoke residential developments. Our work takes us throughout NZ and recently, into Australia.

We have carved ourselves a special niche in the sports, recreation and leisure sector, and are committed to making an outstanding contribution to global sports, leisure, and community-based architecture.

We also work on residential projects – individual homes as well as developer-driven multi-unit housing.


We are looking for an experienced architecture graduate or technician to work in our Brunswick studio to assist our Director in the development of our design packages for our sports and residential projects.

In this role, you will:

→ Undertake research, design analysis and investigations;
→ Develop conceptual ideas into detailed construction drawings and documentation;
→ Produce client presentation material as well as planning submissions;
→ Communicate and liaise with clients, other team members, consultants, Council officers, and contractors;
→ Work with agreed timeframes, project briefing, and set budgets;
→ Prepare design reports, contract documentation, and technical details;
→ Undertake site monitoring, record keeping, and contract administration;
→ Deliver the design from concept to completion;
→ Need the ability to produce clear communications, with an understanding of the English language critical.
→ This role is full-time, however, for the right candidate, we would consider part-time, within family-friendly hours.


→ Related Bachelor or Masters of Architecture degree, with knowledge of Australian Building Standards;
→ High proficiency in ArchiCAD (3+ years) being capable of BIM/3D modelling and detailed documentation;
→ Moderate experience in SketchUp and/or Adobe CS is an advantage;
→ Have a minimum of 3 years full-time relevant experience;
→ Competent technical understanding of Australian construction detailing and building codes;
→ Demonstrate a high level of design pride and capability;
→ Be a good self-starter
→ Have professional and confident interaction with staff and clients;
→ A great team player who is not afraid of bringing ideas to the table;
→ Able to remain calm under pressure with the flexibility to meet changing demands;
→ Can build relationships, and capable of being part of a team to achieve deadlines;
→ Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


106 Architects values people who enjoy working collaboratively and contributing as part of a team. In return, we offer a competitive salary and the ability to enjoy a balanced work/life mix. We are committed to career development and have a track record in providing a flexible and family-friendly, yet stimulating, environment for our people.


If this sounds like you, please send a current CV and portfolio to:

You must have Australian residency or a valid Australian work permit to apply for this role.


You can find out more about 106 Architects on our website:

Work for us! Architect or Senior Technician wanted

106 Architects | With with us - Architect or Senior Technician wanted

106 Architects needs YOU! Work on Sports, Recreation, Community + Residential projects across Australia & New Zealand!


We are looking for an experienced Architect or Senior Technician with 5+ years experience to work in our Brunswick studio. This is a 2 month contract position with an immediate start and the potential to become permanent.

You will assist our Director in the development of our design packages for our sports and residential projects.

In this role, you will:

→ Undertake research, design analysis and investigations;
→ Develop conceptual ideas into detailed construction drawings and documentation;
→ Produce client presentation material as well as planning submissions;
→ Communicate and liaise with clients, other team members, consultants, Council officers, and contractors;
→ Work with agreed timeframes, project briefing, and set budgets;
→ Prepare design reports, contract documentation, and technical details;
→ Undertake site monitoring, record keeping, and contract administration;
→ Deliver the design from concept to completion;
→ Need the ability to produce clear communications, with an understanding of the English language critical.
→ This is a contract role based in the studio, with the potential to become permanent.


→ Related Bachelor or Masters of Architecture degree, or technical qualification, with knowledge of Australian Building Standards;
MUST have a high proficiency in ArchiCAD being capable BIM/3D modelling and detailed documentation;
→ Moderate experience in SketchUp and/or Adobe CS is an advantage;
→ Have a minimum of 5+ years relevant full-time experience;
→ Competent technical understanding of Australian construction detailing and building codes;
→ Demonstrate a high level of design and documentation pride and capability;
→ Be a good self-starter
→ Have professional and confident interaction with staff and clients;
→ A great team player who is not afraid of bringing ideas to the table;
→ Able to remain calm under pressure with the flexibility to meet changing demands;
→ Can build relationships, and capable of being part of a team to achieve deadlines;
→ Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


106 Architects values people who enjoy working collaboratively and contributing as part of a team. In return, we offer a competitive rate and the ability to enjoy a balanced work/life mix. We are committed to career development and have a track record in providing a flexible and family-friendly, yet stimulating, environment for our people.


If this sounds like you, please send a current CV and portfolio with samples of technical drawings to:

You must have Australian residency or a valid Australian work permit to apply for this role.


106 Architects is a small, well-established architecture practice that provides specialised global professional design and project management services for a range of clients. Our collaborative design team works with clients who are focused on sports, community, and leisure projects, as well as bespoke residential developments. Our work takes us throughout NZ and recently, into Australia.

We have carved ourselves a special niche in the sports, recreation and leisure sector, and are committed to making an outstanding contribution to global sports, leisure, and community-based architecture.

We also work on residential projects – individual homes as well as developer-driven multi-unit housing.


You can find out more about 106 Architects on our website:

Why 106 Architects?

106 Architects | Why 106 Architects?

We have a strong focus on social and environmental integration: the impacts of buildings on people. This means our work is based on evidence and needs, not an assumption. A hands-on approach characterises our practice and allows us to respond to large and small projects alike. Consistently high quality of service, design and technical rigour is achieved through creating a project-specific design and delivery process that can be made up of:

– Pre-design briefing, Workshops, User Group Analysis
– High-level Concept Design Basis
– Needs and Options Reviews
– External and Internal Stakeholder Communications
– Masterplanning and Feasibility Studies
– Detailed Design and Documentation
– Project Management and Final Delivery
– Business Case Development and Economic Modeling
– Post-occupancy Review and Testing

We pride ourselves on being able to adapt to a project. We do not hold to a specific style, instead, we connect with our clients to craft a bespoke, versatile and dynamic design to suit each commission.

A process of designing, prototyping, testing, then revising, allows us to create innovative architecture which our clients can tell stories and thrive within.

Sport + Community

We recognise the potential for community, sport and recreation activity to have a huge impact on the lives of our young people. 106 has a focus on projects that connect communities through these activities.

We have a strong history with sports-community projects having worked closely with many individual clubs, community groups, the education sector, national sports organisations, regional sports trusts, and councils.

We know – that like sport – experience, passion, and expertise alone will not deliver a great result. It needs a great team.

Project Management

We offer project management services that align your ‘vision’ or design strategy with your detailed brief. We then deliver this through great documentation and on-site delivery. As with all our services, we tailor this to suit your exact needs and expected outcomes.

We work with our clients, consultants, and contractors very closely throughout each project. Attentive and regular client contact and communications are key. Our team is very experienced in meeting the demands and expectations of any entity: private organisations, Boards of Trustees, local authority bodies, client stakeholders, and the wider community.

We have NZ Ministry of Education accreditation for 10YPP and 5YA delivery and are experienced in working with council processes.

Our points of difference are in our briefing, design, management, consultation communication and delivery tools.

–  Leading the briefing, consultation and design process.
–  Management and delivery of all modes of documentation.
–  Administration of building contracts.
–  Observing contract works.


Bespoke is beautiful. That’s what we believe at 106 Architects, a design that melds your ideas with our expertise to craft original spaces that work – for you. Our in-house interiors team focus on design excellence and exceptional project delivery. We specialise in high-quality residential, commercial, education, and sport-related sectors. We guide our clients through concept design to project completion, encountering many moments of magic in between.

– Large scale projects
– Cafes, restaurants, canteens
– Luxury and bespoke residential

Design-lead research and collaboration with our suppliers keep us ahead of the game. This enables us to provide innovative, responsive and commercially viable designs.

A room may be comprised of timber and tile, but the subtle qualities of intimacy, scale, volume and texture, along with the unique perspective each client brings, are what make the difference.

Successful projects blend design and aesthetics, sustainability and functionality. And they stick to budgets. Our small team at 106 helps bring these threads together.

Architecture has the ability to inspire and connect in every day. We’re not about pushing the latest ‘look’ onto an existing home: we’re committed to a sensitive contemporary design that responds to today’s lifestyle. So whether you’re adding a new storey to your home, seeking workplace or spatial planning, or refurbishing your local sports hub, our design-led, collaborative approach means you’ll achieve results that are tailor-made to fit.

New Plymouth Multi-Sport Hub: Play for the Future

106 Project | New Plymouth Multi-sport Masterplan

106 Architects is completely thrilled to see the New Plymouth Multi-sport Hub project out in the public arena after so much work over the past 9-months!

This has been a huge collaboration with the sport’s stakeholders, led by Sport Taranaki CEO Michael Carr with  and Global Leisure Group.

The project is a huge step forward with widespread community sport benefits.

Sport Taranaki Press Release Issued 3 September 2020


The Master Plan revealed for the multi-sport hub at New Plymouth Raceway today have been welcomed as an important step forward for a project with widespread community benefits.

The Master Plan has been developed by specialist sports architects and planners in consultation with sporting organisations, Te Atiawa, New Plymouth District Council and New Plymouth Boys’ High School. They are designed to plan for a project that not only will solve a number of facility issues sports are struggling with but will also create an intergenerational recreational space the whole community will benefit from.  As a regional sports trust Sport Taranaki was charged with leading a collaborative project including a needs assessment and Master Plan development for submission to the NPDC Long Term Plan process.

The Master Plans, which are designed to be phased, include provision for a six-court indoor stadium facility, movement space, hockey turf and facilities to accommodate a range of other sports and activities including rugby, netball, football, volleyball, badminton and cricket. There will be easy walking or cycling access to the site, which will provide new links through to Pukekura Park and the CBD beyond. The multi-sport hub will have family-friendly play spaces and be an inviting community space where people connect and get active. High-level costs for the project have been compiled. The first phase which includes the indoor stadium, hockey turf and supporting infrastructure has been costed at $62.5 million.

A detailed Community Sport Facility Needs Assessment completed in 2019 showed there was an especially urgent need for indoor court space and artificial turf. Hockey, basketball and volleyball are three sports where playing numbers are surging and courts and turf struggle to cope. In 2019 hockey had 1809 registered players in Taranaki, with nearly 1200 of these in New Plymouth. Numbers of hockey players across Taranaki increased 31% in four years. Basketball grew 9% to 2160 registered New Plymouth players and volleyball grew by 48% to 320 in the same period. Analysis showed basketball, volleyball and hockey did not have enough space while premier netball also were short of indoor competition space.

Sport Taranaki CEO Michael Carr said the project was a once in a generation opportunity that would have far-reaching community and health benefits.

“Our sportspeople are crying out for this facility and as a community recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 we need ways to make it easier for people to get more active. This hub will be much more than a sporting facility, this will be a focal point for a more connected and healthy community”.

While the cost of the project is significant, improving health outcomes across the community through welcoming, easily accessible and flexible leisure spaces was a critical decision to make, Carr said.

“This project is not just about sporting infrastructure, the health of the community is at its heart. Our community infrastructure has been built when our leaders showed courage and vision and built for the long term. They were major projects but no one argues that Pukekura Park or the Coastal Walkway should not have been built. Now we have another chance for a step-change for the city that is needed now, but will become part of the community fabric in the future that makes us special.”

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight said they recognised the need for a multi-sport facility and appreciated the benefits that a collaborative approach to developing this will bring to the region.

“To enable the smooth delivery of this project, Waka Kotahi is working with New Plymouth District Council to identify any early concerns that could arise on the state highway network as a result of the development,” she said.


FIH Gen-2 Multi-sport Pitch Guide

106 Architects | FIH Gen-2 Multisport Pitch

We live in a world where collaboration and sharing is king. So are imagery and visualisation as key tools to communicate an idea or concept.

The main mental image associated with a “multi-sport artificial sports surface” tends to be more associated with long-pile “3G” pitches or a backyard sand-filled multi-marked tennis court surface, where a combination of large-ball sports such as rugby, football, and AFL are thought to offer a “true multisport” solution.

This often leaves small-ball sports looking for other venues where a 3G surface is not entirely suitable.

For the development of artificial turf surfaces, a range of technologies exists that best suit the specific needs of each sport. As these technologies and specifications become more fine-tuned, the less likely we can picture a broader cross-sport usage.

The Problem
All sports have unique qualities and characteristics for both their rules of the game and in the court/track/field of play requirements.

In the world of sports facility development, our funding agencies, State and local Councils are seeking more and more that we look for opportunities to join together and create better ‘bang for buck’ and greater multi-use in our sports infrastructure.

The typical approach to sports surface development is to seek funding for a sports-specific surface that best serves that particular sport, often without regard for other users or the potential to tap into wider uses and ultimately, revenue streams.

The question is: How can we provide for greater sharing and collaboration across individual sports at the community level, and convince the funders that we offer more than just a single-sport offering, to secure and attract funding?

What We Did To Help
A pioneering joint initiative between the sports of hockey, tennis and netball has led to the creation of an innovative new multi-sport concept known as ‘Gen-2’.

In communicating the multi-sport nature of Gen-2 short pile surfaces, 106 Architects were engaged to produce the visual assets for the recently released FIH Gen-2 Guide. These visual images allowed readers of the Guide to understand exactly what other sports might look like when overlaid and integrated onto a full-size hockey turf.

In our school and community sports facility projects, we often get asked: “.. what other sports can be accommodated on a hockey field?”

By utilising the proven technology of short-pile synthetic turf preferred by hockey, and incorporating the latest innovations in shock pads, the Gen-2 surface has been specially designed to become a great all-round solution.

The FIH has produced a guide that shares the Gen-2 design concepts, promotes good practice and encourages the development of facilities that all of the sports can benefit from.

A copy of the guide and more information about the benefits of Gen-2 fields and courts and this exciting collaboration between England Hockey, Lawn Tennis Association and England Netball, can be found on the FIH website.

How will this change multi-sports?
It’s a concept 106 Architects has been considering for sometime when designing for our clients, enabling large and small ball sports to co-exist together. We continue to challenge this – with innovations like these providing a wonderful springboard to push boundaries across sports and recreation facilities – to make the most of collaborative opportunities.

COVID-19 – Building Site Lockdown

With the announcement from the New Zealand Government last week to elevate the COVID-19 alert level to Level 3 – Restrict, on Monday 23 March, then immediately to Level 4 – Eliminate on Wednesday 25 March, all within 48hrs, there were immediate impacts for our 106 Architects’ construction projects that were – or about to be – active on site.

For projects in Australia, we see work continue, albeit under health and safety practices that align with Federal and State Government requirements. These specifically relate to the foundation of Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws that require employers to take care of their workers in the workplace.

Current requirements include social distancing, as well, providing adequate facilities for workers to carry out their tasks safely, chiefly, personal and workplace hygiene measures. Updated SWMS (Safe Work Method Statements) will be required under COVID-19 conditions for those continuing to work.

Specific information for our Australian clients and contractors can be found here, at the Safe Work Australia site –

Our Victorian projects can find information via the Work Safe Victoria website here – and here –

In New Zealand, as the lockdown commenced, all non-essential services ceased and people were required to stay at home. We anticipate Australia to move in the same direction. Soon.

Here are some of the key items we have needed to consider with our Client/Principals and Contractors:

Payment Claims

As the end of the month approached – with it, the end of the financial year for New Zealanders – we moved to assist Contractors to receive, and then assess, their payment claims for the project cycle. For some projects the cycle was monthly; others fortnightly.

Assisting to quickly gather a clear understanding of work completed with any supporting documentation required, was a key task we faced.

Where visiting sites to inspect work first-hand would not be possible, we worked through progress with the Contractors via FaceTime, photographs, and verbal descriptions on what work had been completed and ‘held’.

This has meant that the processing of the Payment Certificate over the past week, in a difficult situation, could take place in confidence with everyone working remotely.

Trust, kindness, and supporting both Client and Contractor has been the key.

Thinking ahead, Clients/Principals could consider increasing the frequency or changing the basis of the payment to the Contractor. This may assist the supply chain cash-flow for materials and products, and ease overall financial pressure on all parties. Equally, payments could be offered directly to suppliers and could ensure a project-specific flow of goods and services can be achieved (and secured) following the lockdown period.

Insolvency and re-mobilisation are two key factors currently circulating our sector at the moment. Modifying the payment claim basis through closer help and facilitation could go a long way.

The Site and Building Schedule

The shutdown of sites happened quickly in New Zealand and will happen in a similar manner in Australia. While the site remains the responsibility of the Contractor, the unknown period of time for closure means communication between Client and Contractor is key.

Much like the landlord/tenant relationship, there may be on-going costs to the Contractor relating to specific site structures and establishment as part of general overheads, either as direct and/or indirect costs.

The Contractor should contact their suppliers and see what relief they can provide, and can feasibly pass on to Clients. There should be a sensibility to the passing on of these costs, and any that may be associated with a likely Extension of Time (EoT) claim that may follow.

The cost of scaffold, for example, is an on-going overhead, however, these particular site structures will clearly not be used during lockdown other than support or potentially to enclose a structure. On-going certification and testing will not be taking place, so there may be a basis to challenge the need for an on-going cost for something that would not be certified or used.

Site fencing and security measures should also be checked for completeness, to ensure they are well-fixed in-place for any adverse weather conditions likely to be presented during inactivation of the site.

Consideration to re-mobilisation costs and securing trade supplies following a prolonged period of inactivity should also be given (see Financial and Resource Health, below).

Contractor and Principal – Financial and Resource Health

For projects that were about to kick-off or indeed underway, the issue of financial capability and durability to ride the crisis, should be considered. The same applies to human resources or labour availability, and what sort of plan might be put in place by the Contractor for when the project sets off again.

The questions are: Is the availability of supply items a danger or risk area for a project, and what is availability like, once projects recommence?

We have projects were Client or Principal-supplied items are included in the contract. Clients need to ascertain what challenges (and alternatives) they may have as a back-up should the supply chain be affected by COVID-19. Equally, where clients have paid for their fixtures upfront, ensuring that those fixtures are assigned to them and covered by insurances as off-site goods. Seek additional security for the cost and risk of those items not turning up, or for insolvency of a supplier – standard procedures, but more important in a riskier time.

There is a degree of increasing financial pressure and strangling of cashflow at the moment. It’s a difficult question to ask and assess, but ask: How is your Contractor placed to reignite again, once the green-light is given?

What can you do as the project owner, to alleviate any real or perceived pressure on the Contractor?

For example, do you really need the provision for Liquidated Damages in your contract, to be applied? Could you release the pressure, by granting a unilateral Extension of Time, to allow the Contractor to complete the project beyond the stated completion date, for events beyond their control?


It would pay for both Principal and Contractor to advise their insurance brokers that building works have ceased, and confirm the shut-down date. There is a duty to formally advise of any changes to site or project conditions. At this time, it is unknown when construction is likely to resume, but we see it as being at least four weeks away.

The insurance policies and arrangements in-place have an end-date nominated for each project, however, an email trail to confirm changed site conditions is prudent. Once works are back up and running, a revised programme should be sought from the Contractor, with a new completion date passed onto the insurer. Check with your broker to additional costs, if any, there may be for extending the cover due to COVID-19.

With communication and consideration, you’ll be in good shape when construction kicks off again.

Third Place Series 1 – Life In-between

Meet ‘Third Place’ and what it means to 106 Architects, past and present
A personal reflection of ‘life in-between’ through the lens of our Founder and Principal Architect, Dion Gosling.

The early days
A good place to start is by telling you the true story of how this all came to be; through my eyes. After all,  this is about storytelling – but we’ll get to that soon.

I was quite young when I would run to primary school – I got sick of waiting for the bus.  I would spend time on my bike; with no helmet, of course!  Yes, those were the days.  I had complete freedom.  Freedom to explore; freedom to play, freedom while wandering between home and school; and exploring the in-between.  Expressing myself and finding out about the world around me.

I found the places I explored more exciting than being at either endpoint.  I was always on the move; looking for something to see and experience, looking for something to discover and challenge me.  This remains true today.

How youthfulness has influenced my today
Yes, while as a youngster I often got up to no good (mischief stories for another day!)  Since then I’ve come to realise that my inquisitive nature, to seek out those in-between places, has influenced my views on what a community is, and the opportunities that exist when we look for them.

Sport, or an active ‘something’ – as it was back then – gave me eyes to look at things, places, and people; and see how they interacted, how they intersected.  On reflection, it is these experiences that have shaped my professional career, as an architect that specialises in speciality sports, community, and leisure facilities.

The internal question that raised within me some years ago, centred around our social surround, what it is, and how can it be crafted or improved through our sports and community facilities.

The ideas of freedom, play, belonging, exploration, informal play, and yes, the making of stories – appeared to me to be a reasonable basis for defining our social surroundings and designs: As opposed to our usual social environment, which seemed harder, less attainable.

Out of a young life spent exploring, playing training and travelling the world, I have been shaped by memories and the places I made them in. My proposition, as an elite sportsperson, and now architect is that the success of sports and community facilities is ultimately dictated by how people use them to create their own story and make their own memories. Why? Because people are drawn to the emotional connection of what’s familiar; the in-between places they connect with and the impact these places have on their lives.

The definition of ‘Third Place’
The idea of Third Place is not mine.  It came from the writer of The Great Good Place (Third Places) – Ray Oldenburg – out of post-war, mid-century USA; developed off the platform that Americans were looking for something more to life.  Suburban sprawl and development needs created an unsatisfactory social environment where a lack of social centres reduced opportunities for informal gatherings and, as Oldenburg propositioned, relieve stress.  Oldenburg believed that community and social celebration was essential to our daily work-life balance.

Oldenburg characterises Third Places as both neutral and inclusive social centres. As accessible and accommodating places where conversing is the main activity. As low-key, low-profile, joyful places; with the feelings of comfort and support found in our homes.

These same qualities were the very characteristics – now defined – that I was experiencing during the rural days of Auckland’s 1970’s.

The refreshing re-introduction to Third Place
While the notion of Third Place, has always influenced my career, I was reminded of it when I was approached to prepare a presentation to the World Stadium and Arena Congress in Sydney in 2016.  I was asked to explore the role of our community facilities, as they related to stadia and arena design.  It was when I was researching the topic that I was reminded of the concept of Third Places – the idea of an ‘in-between’ place.

These days, I find narrow inner-city streets and laneways particularly intriguing third places; people always in transit, on the move and between destinations. Today, the integration of art and public architecture brings city streets to life, transforming middle-grounds into active conversation areas, public art installations and social attractions; the in-between, now the new destination, the interim, now a Third Place.

What Third Place means to 106 Architects today
So, what does Third Place mean to us at 106 Architects? Our masterplans and designs are all about the journey, the stories, the freedom of expression, and how the community identifies with the project.  It is the intersection of sport and the community and how it shapes truly unique facilities.

On that basis, the Third Place for us is about finding our place as architects to investigate the intersection of sport and community. And ultimately, how they are unique to every space, we are privileged to be asked to design.

It is about collaboration and sharing, flexibility and freedom to explore.  It is about facilitating community engagement and interaction through design; founded on functionality and intimacy.  Because with functionality and intimacy, comes stability and familiarity.

There is a basis for the design of these unique facilities and social places to have a method that has a clear philosophical, social basis, and rationale.  And from this, we believe, stories are created.  For with stories, comes belonging and the knowledge that binds us.

At the time of defining Third Place, Oldenburg likens that there was a sense and transition occurring whereby one’s ideal vision for the idea of ‘home’ had been substituted or transcended by chasing a vision for an ideal ‘city’. [1] In my mind, this is a scale and intimacy issue.  People know and understand their domestic homes and the pathways to find them.  As such, they feel comfortable and far more engaged in these spaces, when compared to larger-scale buildings or city developments.

So at 106 Architects, we like to explore what happens when we tip some of the characteristics and qualities of our home into the design and development of larger-scale projects; like our sports and community facilities.  For us, designing at the intersection of sport and community allows us to craft not only what we consider a unique building typology, but also the wider site and fields of play – the laneways and access points – providing us with a platform to explore what the Third Place looks and feels like, not only as a building but as a social hub.

#ThirdPlace – the series
Over the next few weeks, we will publish a series of articles that will further explore the influence that Third Place has on our designs. We’ll introduce you to our Third Place thinking and show you how through collaboration, we can engage your community to craft unique facilities that have their own successful identity and function.  A place that leaves its users free to explore the opportunity to make it a place of their own, shaped by their personal memories and most importantly, a place where users can enjoy their stories created by in-between places.

[1] The Great Good Place (Third Place) Chapter One – The Foundation. p7.

#GoneMobile – The Art of Small

#GoneMobile #StayingMobile

From Auckland to Melbourne and beyond, it seems people are trying to come to terms with the rapid growth and density of our cities. The strategy to increase density, as a way to improve the liveability and functioning of our city, causes us all to reflect on the quality of life we are accustomed to, and what we might wish for in the future. In our minds, this means thinking about the amount of space we have, how we use it, and the way people seek to interact in it.

At 106 Architects, we have long been exploring the efficiency of space movement, both in the way we might work, and the way we collaborate with our clients. For example, all of our studios, Auckland, Melbourne, Wanaka are set within shared spaces. Sure, we have done this to optimise financial resources and our use of space. But more so, because we feel that the dynamic and dense arrangement of skills and expertise leads to better client outcomes. Why? Because the conversation in these spaces becomes fluid, we get smarter from the shared dialogue. Moreover, we’re more actively connected to the communities in which we work. This ultimately equals better designs for everyone we touch.

Our commitment to this space movement exploration was best illustrated during the Summer of 2016 when we set out to discover the impact a reduction of space might have on our business and the way we work. Hence the #GoneMobile experiment was born.

The #GoneMobile Experiment
106 Architects created a temporary office on the site of one of our projects – the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre in Okahu Bay, Auckland. The space, a 9 m2 caravan, was of a magnitude smaller than our 90 m2 studio. During our time in the 9m2 mobile office, we observed that the space changed in response to our needs. It happened in such a fluid way that it often flew under the radar. We moved from “documentation mode” to “meeting mode” all within the same small space, and with little disturbance to the way we worked. This eliminated the need for several adjoining spaces with fixed (constructed) purposes. Spatial boundaries become reduced or even blurred, making smaller spaces smarter by design.

The other advantage of working in a small office space by the sea was that it was easy to manage, and it was flexible, even nimble. By being on the site and near our client-community, it opened up powerful conversations, while revealing extraordinary insights into how people engage with and benefit from the space and its surrounds.

The 106 team found the move into our much loved harbour-side caravan office came with increased free-flow of ideas that surged back and forth with ease. Although we were experimenting with our business space, we knew the real opportunity was how we could apply these learnings to our future Living, Sports and Community designs.

How smaller spaces lead to better connections
Before the experiment, we knew that we would come away with some great ideas on how to introduce smart design into homes – how spaces can respond to changing needs for volume, size or purpose; otherwise known as smart spaces. Smart spaces are often expressed through the utilisation of sliding partitions to control volume or changing traditional geometry to create more versatile spaces. Of course, after #GoneMobile we came away with some ideas on how to better use kitchens as a family social hub, but perhaps the more profound learnings from the experiment related to how small spaces can help effectively breakdown social disconnection.

Small Spaces in the Digital Age
We live in an age where technology is infiltrating family and community life, resulting in ‘disconnection’ in a strangely connected world. This has been topical in the media for some time and is explored in Catherine Steiner-Adairs book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, Some of the themes touched on in the book mirror our findings from the experiment. For example, good spatial planning can provide a setting for users to be present and together and smaller spaces by their very nature result in this happening. As such, when we collaborate with our living clients, we are now asking the question “What do you value when it comes to your family dynamics? Are the spaces in your home helping to facilitate and support these? Can we create spaces where digital use and social engagement can live together harmoniously?

Smaller spaces lend themselves to that ‘Third Place’
Perhaps most importantly, the learnings from the #GoneMobile experiment have also extended into our sporting designs. We often consider how small, smart spaces can create more dynamic and enhanced community intersections. They lend themselves to the trend that we are highly vested in and extremely passionate about – designing community facilities so that they can become that “Third Place.” That social place between work and home where we feel safe accepted and part of a family. This is often best achieved within a small intimate setting rather than in large impersonal spaces. Creating these “Third Places” is something that we want to be known for and something which 106 Architects hopes to integrate into all our community designs in the future.

The next challenge – #StayingMobile
The team at 106 Architects is continuing to work on ideas for fun smart space experiments, which we are hoping will play out within proximity to our newest Melbourne office location. We are proactively brainstorming our next move – for now, let’s call it #StayingMobile! We’d love it if you could hit us up with your ideas on how you think we can continue the conversation. Together we can work towards optimising the outcomes of urban intensification so that lifestyle outcomes are better for everyone.

Countdown is On – Australian National Sports Convention

106 Architects is delighted to be actively involved in the National Sports Convention, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Tuesday 23rd July to Thursday 25th July 2019.

The vision of this year’s Convention is “Reimagining Sport; more people active with greater participation opportunities.”

The event is sure to be a vibrant hub of ‘everything sport’ – packed with networks and opportunities to explore the impact of specialist sporting architecture on the community in the future – from surfaces, facilities, policy, innovation and current trends.

Convention attendees can expect a packed schedule, and we are inviting leaders from councils, parks and recreation, sport’s CEOs and all other sporting stakeholders to come and say hi to our Principal Architect, Dion Gosling who will be a speaker, as well as a panellist at the below plenary sessions:

Workshop 1 – Wednesday 24th July 1:30 pm – 3 pm

Sporting Centres of Excellence and How They Embrace Synthetic, Hybrid Surfaces and the Latest Smart Technology

Workshop 2 – Thursday 25th July at 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

Reimagining Community Facilities and Urban Design
What Will Future Facilities and Neighbourhoods Look Like if we want to Activate Communities and Attract Specific Cohorts?

The featured project Dion will be focusing on is the Community Centre of Excellence in Christchurch, New Zealand at the Nga Puna Wai sports precinct which was designed for four key sports, to service the growing local community need. The precinct has the capacity to scale up operations to host regional, national and international events. 106 Architects partnered with Council and consultants to successfully create a “Third Place” — an inviting home for the anchor sports of Hockey, Athletics, Rugby League and Tennis.

106 Architects is excited that the chosen destination for this year’s Convention is Melbourne. This decision echo’s our recent decision to set up a base in Melbourne — an inspirational city known for its rich and successful coupling of sporting and community culture. Our agenda at the Convention is to demonstrate how the Antipodes truly pack a punch when it comes to sports stadia. It is our time to shine, with Australian and New Zealand architects leading the way in creating effective collaboration models that deliver greater community engagement, increased sport participation and higher performing athletes.

We look forward to seeing you at the National Sports Convention. Simply register your interest here. If you can’t make it, or you want to follow our involvement, you can stay tuned via our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.