Project Team

design & construct builder: New England Constructions
architect & interior design: Nicholas Associates Architects
interior design, lighting and furniture: Split Watermelon


lighting: Yellowgoat, Cafe Culture, Koda, JADA, Diemme
carpet: Brintons
furniture: Hospitality Imports
screening: Diemme

Collegians Rugby League Club is one of the leading clubs in the Illawarra area. New England Constructions and Nicholas Associates Architects have completed seven stages of refurbishment over fifteen years at the venue.

The Club built its reputation as the leading Club in the region as a dining and gaming destination; however they lacked dedicated indoor and outdoor lounge areas. The recently completed phase comprised: new bar, new social lounge, new intimate lounge (bench seating with curtains for privacy), refurbished TAB lounge,new outdoor sports lounge, new outdoor social lounge, refurbished and extended coffee lounge as well as an extended administration office.

The design provides numerous zones distinguished by unique design features and furniture to cater for the varying needs and moods of patrons. It adds to intimacy, creates visual interest, and makes it possible to have a variety of settings for patrons whether the club is quiet or trading at high volume.

Pepper Ottoman

Fully upholstered ottoman with timber legs and contrasting lace up and piping detail to top and sides.

Hospitality Imports

The layout clearly delineates dining areas and lounge areas. Previously they were one and the same.

It was necessary to create an attractive late night destination within the Club in order to attract non-gamers away from the pokie lounge. Intricate construction staging was required to enable ongoing trade in and around the areas being constructed and refurbished.

Split Watermelon Design was appointed as a design consultant during the recent refurbishment at Collegians Rugby Club, and has been responsible for procuring the new furniture and feature lighting for the lounge and terrace areas.

The new interiors possess a largely neutral colour palette (chocolates and soft jades) and called for a bold approach to the new furnishings. Split Watermelon purposely selected pieces with high levels of detailing and punches of plum and orange - from high backed velvet lounges to bold stripes, button stitching and lacing details on the ottomans. The furniture selection has been highly successful in creating different ‘zones’ within the space alleviating the need for screening or additional joinery. All of the furniture was sourced through Hospitality Imports.

One of the main focal points within the newly renovated club is the dramatic light feature over the main bar. Split Watermelon collaborated with Just A Glass Act (JAGA) to create a truly unique light fitting which takes inspiration from water droplets. A rigorous design process ensued involving a number of prototypes being produced in varying sizes, shapes and colours. The final design resulted in each of the 200 pieces, each slightly different in size and shape, being hand blown from glass and suspended from a mirrored ceiling plate. The bold scarlet colour was chosen to create a real ‘wow’ factor within the centre of the lounge. Diemme were involved in putting them together and designing the suspension method.

Diemme also provided the metal laser cut screen divider depicting trees next to the coffee lounge.

Lighting includes white ‘Lantern’ pendants over the café area byYellowgoat, and Ornametrica pendants by Café Culture in the main lounge.

Split Watermelon are currently designing other areas of this club including an extension to the new outdoor terrace and a new outdoor gaming area due for completion at the end of the year.

Katagami Range

The Katagami range of carpets have simple, textural flora inspired designs. Brintons hold one of the world’s largest private collections of Katagami stencils (over 800) and have transformed these beautiful, hand-crafted pieces into a unique and inspiring collection of carpet designs.