Athlete Village Design and Construction A Real Team Effort!


Cambridge has become the hub of New Zealand High-Performance Sport, and Brian Perry Charitable Trust (BPCT) wanted to aid athletes, coaches, and teams to be able to make use of the facilities offered. Having purchased the land at 20 Peake Road, Cambridge, the BPCT decided to form a consortium to design and build an athlete’s accommodation lodge.


The brief was simple. Create a building or series of installations where athletes could stay, conduct meetings, compose game plans, store their equipment (kayaks, bicycles, etc.) and make use of the surrounding facilities in Cambridge.

The final building would have to provide accommodation for 88 people and be completed by Christmas 2017, a six month build time.


Lobell teamed up with Chibnall Bucknell Team Architects for a fixed price design contract and got to work conceptualising the project. The project would resemble a series of motel units, all developed as stand-alone villas laid out on the site with a central courtyard.


An admin block and seminar rooms were also part of the design. Lots of discussion ensued as the design/build team planned out the project and made sure they could work within the budget and deliver within the six month build time. For Lobell, meeting milestones was critical and something they remained focused on throughout the project.


BPCT had employed Elemental Construction Services as project managers. As part of the selection process, a total of three building contractors were invited to bid on the design and build project.


Peter Chibnall of Chibnall Bucknell Team Architects says,

“Lobell put forward a very comprehensive design and tender submission detailing all the items in a clear and understandable format. Furthermore, they were cost-effective and submitted an efficient preliminary programme with their tender too. Their tender clarifications, documentation and programme all demonstrated a clear understanding of the BPCT requirements and vision.”

Podium Lodge is a place for athletes to train and live while they develop their skills. Central to the project was the creation of a sense of community and team work within the village.

“This was a complicated project that needed to finish right on Christmas. Being capable of delivering the final project for the client, and indeed the region, and our sportsmen and women, was a wonderful thing to be a part of.”

With a design and build project such as this one, communication is vital. For Lobell, their focus has always been on ensuring the client and stakeholders are kept well informed. Working between BPCT, ECS and the Chibnall Bucknell Team could present challenges but the Lobell team, and specifically Leon Carr as Site Manager, managed this side of things efficiently and transparently.

“The communication from the Lobell team was excellent. There was a constant open line of communication from the Site Manager and Lobell Management. This ensured all systems and information were in hand and decisions made became part of the final project delivery”

Peter Bucknell.

With a tight programme and completion date of Christmas Eve 2017, Lobell Construction’s team worked hard to ensure the handover was a success. It came in under budget, and the Brian Perry Charitable Trust’s vision was brought to life.


Louis Shaw of Lobell Construction says, “This was a terrific project, and the Chibnall Bucknell team were excellent consultants. With a great deal of careful planning, we hit every target. It was a great outcome for everyone involved.

The client was a pleasure to work with too, attending site meetings and assisting with decision making is essential in a design and build contract.”

And finally, Peter Chibnall says,

“Lobell’s commitment to professionalism, attention to detail and a clear focus on customer service are impressive. Their experience, coupled with their creative approach to problem-solving created an outstanding result. We were thrilled for the BPCT to take possession and open the doors to Podium Lodge in January 2018.”

Lobell commercial construction - Podium Lodge sign
Podium Lodge was a design and build project for Lobell Construction. It was a project built on the idea that athletes would come and experience living as a team to train and learn their chosen sport.