Design features

The Recreation Centre was designed by McPhee Architects to Council’s vision for a multipurpose community recreation facility integrated with the historic Waverley Park. Its ingenious design complements the existing park landscape with a partially “buried” green roof which provides views to the ocean.

Environmental build

Built from concrete containing 20% recycled material, steel and glass, and partly buried under flowing green rooves, the centre incorporates the following passive design elements that will contribute to energy-efficient operation year-round.

  • Extensive use of glass to provide natural day time lighting, and night time lighting using LED, the most efficient lighting technology currently available
  • Use of recycled rubber in the sports court flooring
  • Green rooves and mechanical ventilation providing temperature control and air flow
  • The curved roof shading the grandstand is constructed of a ‘sandwich’ of colourbond and polystyrene insulation that will help to keep the building cool
  • A 25 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system installed on the northern edge of the curved roof that will generate about 80 kilowatts of electricity a day and reduce grid electricity consumption
  • Installation of energy and water efficient appliances including ‘heat pump’ water heaters
  • Capture of water runoff from the roof and storage in a 67 kilolitre tank for re-use in cleaning and toilet flushing
  • Capture of sub surface seepage and storage in the park’s 44 kilolitre subterranean water tank to be used for irrigation of the oval and other playing surfaces and gardens.


The overall design for the landscaping seeks to achieve flow of the parklands over and around the building softening its modern profile and providing a link between the ‘forests’ surrounding the Victorian era water reservoir, and the traditional grassed memorial gardens.

Plants selected include native bird-attracting species and both natives and exotics with tolerance for drought, salt and wind. Some trees were protected because of the high value and while some trees of less value were removed, council plans to plant approximately 20 more trees to enhance natural shade and wildlife habitat. Pathways and walls in the landscaping are built from locally reclaimed brick and sandstone to enhance the links with the past.

A single Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosa, native to eastern Australia) has been planted to grow up alongside the building to provide a natural balance, shade, wildlife habitat, and an iconic link with other historic Sydney parklands.

Graham Chalcroft ArtworkPublic artwork

A beautiful public artwork by Graham Chalcroft welcomes visitors at the entrance to the recreation centre.

Graham was selected by Council because of his commitment to developing artworks of community and cultural significance.

Graham’s sculpture is made from multi-layered laser-cut ply. A representation of the Oval's circular form makes up the central point of the work. Woven around the central circle Graham has created sports and other figures evolving from tree roots to represent the Park’s dual histories of sport and nature.

Contact the Centre:

Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre
Waverley Park, Bondi Rd
Bondi Junction
Phone: (02) 9083 8300
Fax: (02) 9389 4839 

Office Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm
Monday to Friday

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