Rakaia Sports Centre


When the community of Rakaia, in South Canterbury, looked for a new home for its local community and sportspeople they put together a challenging brief to help them select a suitable design team. S&T responded with an approach that enabled the Rakaia community to further refine its brief and fundraise in a manner that they were comfortable with. This empathic approach looked beyond design and at the challenges of building a significant building, which are typically faced by any community group.

This approach struck a chord with the Sports Rakaia team and they selected S&T from a number of the country’s best sports facility designers.

The new building includes a competition level sports hall, clubrooms and community spaces while also providing support facilities to the sportfields of the Rakaia Domain. To enable a more flexible facility the design also makes use of an adjacent squash club facility, allowing improvements to this building as well as additional community space for the new one.

To help the Sports Rakaia team best understand how they would likely operate their new facility, our designers visited a number of recent and relevant facilities in the South Island. This allowed everyone, both our clients and our designers, to focus on what will work and not work for the specific needs of Rakaia and quickly come up with a building that will work well for them. 

 “The people we are working with are both inspirational and passionate. Things we really love when working with community groups” - Dennis Chippindale, Architect and Principal 

Project Team