Elmwood Park Bowling Club,
Christchurch

As a result of damage from the Christchurch earthquakes, the Heaton Street bowling green had not been used for bowls in over 10 years. As a sign of the club's resourcefulness, volleyball had become the main activity on the grounds thanks to a thick layer of sand over the bowling green. This was only meant to be a temporary measure until new premises were built as part of a wider Elmwood Park development but with no progress on this, the club contacted Walker Architecture to progress a new clubhouse design.

The existing 1960’s two storey clubhouse was in a poor state of repair and the members wanted a new home for their club after the sale of their other premises in Merivale. To formulate a brief for the design, we requested that the club set up a Build Committee to help guide the process. Working in close collaboration with this committee we progressed a concept that gained support from the wider club and quickly progressed through Resource Consent, Building Consent and Tender stages to start on site within a year of working on the project.

Through successful co-ordination with consultants, contractors and the client, complexities relating to fire & acoustics were overcome resulting in a successful project for all those involved. The club is now open and is “second to none”, according to club president Pete Smith who is full of praise for the design and its architect.

The new building meets its brief by providing a recognisable and welcoming new home for the club. A distinctive gold clad entrance leads towards a striking glass frontage overlooking the new bowling green. Expansive glazing and large sliding doors provide an enjoyable outdoor/indoor flow connecting the clubrooms to the bowling green through a covered colonnade that facilitates outdoor seating. The decorative warmth of a slatted timber ceiling extends between inside and out with high levels of acoustic insulation creating good acoustics for the 200-seat venue that can be split into 2 separate club rooms through the use of an operable wall that folds away discretely out of view. With modern bar and dining facilities, the new building provides flexible new clubrooms that can be hired out for a variety of bowling events helping to ensure the future of the club and its place in Elmwood Park.