FMG Flying Fish
Fortescue (FMG)

Flying Fish

Start Project

The new Flying Fish Village provides an additional 302 beds to Fortescue Metals Group’s existing Eliwana Project in the Pilbara, 90 kilometres north of Tom Price.

Fortescue aimed to provide an efficient layout in the most cost-effective way while also delivering an outstanding village experience; one that would be highly desirable for its resident-workforce.

SPH were engaged with Stantec to deliver full design and documentation of this modular village, including coordination with all disciplines, a new power station, wastewater treatment, and maintenance facilities.

At the outset, Fortescue was unsure about what types of facilities to include – or what size those facilities should be – to adequately service the intended workforce population. To determine these foundational parameters, SPH provided brief optimisation services, which involved the development of an accommodation schedule with a range of potential options – setting out the various advantages and disadvantages of each – this enabled Fortescue to select their preferred amenities while balancing the brief against the budget.

To deliver this brief optimisation service, SPH consulted with Fortescue to understand and develop people-to-amenity ratios for core village functions, such as dining, gyms and recreation areas. Then we established optimum building areas for each functional area based on actual data gathered in conjunction with the client.

The remoteness of the site added to the project’s complexity, because it took longer than usual to gather technical information such as the site survey and geotechnical data. To overcome this challenge and expedite the overall project timeframe, SPH worked closely with Fortescue and the other project consultants to establish services and civil easements and zones.  

That meant we could design-in flexibility, to minimise the need for subsequent amendments based on the pending survey data. We were therefore able to progress the design of individual buildings, safe in the knowledge that they would require only minor updates. Then, once the survey information was delivered, SPH was able to easily update the masterplan to take into account actual site conditions.  

Responding to the client’s ambitious desire to create a destination-of-choice in the Pilbara, SPH developed a new “high street” model for the village. Every room has a view of the centralised “green” and sporting facilities at the heart of the village.  

The main social functions – including the dining rooms, gym, retail, tavern, administration and transit facilities – are clustered in a dynamic shaded “high street”, which promotes a positive workplace culture, by prioritising well-being, connection and a sense of belonging.

This project called for SPH to develop a sophisticated understanding of the operational needs of a Pilbara-based FIFO village – including technical infrastructure and services – and to balance these with the modern needs of a changing workforce.

As such, Flying Fish will be one of the first “New Age” FIFO villages – a place where ordinary activities are transformed into uplifting and meaningful moments – and it will establish a new benchmark for resident-worker experiences, thanks to the comprehensive and holistic planning and design process we undertook on this project.

Fortescue (FMG)
Pilbara Region
$80 million
In Progress


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