Adelaide Oval’s new Western Grandstand redevelopment has hit a six on the global stage, setting a new benchmark for sporting facilities around the world, says the project architect HASSELL.
Officially unveiled over the weekend when the Ashes came to Adelaide, the iconic cricket ground’s new $116.6 million stand is the end result of eight years of intensive planning, design and construction, and is the largest ever development undertaken by the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA).
Principal Architect, Chris Watkins, of the leading national architecture firm HASSELL’s Adelaide studio, said the Western Grandstand’s bold new design was the result of a truly collaborative effort between SACA, HASSELL, COX and the other project partners.
“The challenge was to design a facility that seamlessly integrated and preserved the heritage so dear to the hearts of generations of cricket fans, while delivering a modern and functional venue for generations to come,” Chris said.
“In addition to the 14,000-seat grandstand, the development features new players’ facilities, a 650-seat dining room, function rooms and members bars – all boasting uncompromised views of the picturesque oval, the first time in the facility’s 140 year history.
“And despite the scale of the new grandstand, spectators are closer to the action than ever before with unsurpassed views and sight lines. Furthermore, the redevelopment included a slight reshaping of the playing field enhancing the experience.
“What we have now is a truly first-class facility that cricket lovers the world over can enjoy and South Australians can be very proud of,” he said.
The overall design comprises of five separate bays with a larger ‘pavilion’ in the centre which complement the smaller buildings and stands that already exist on the site. This is a contrast to many of the contemporary stadia designs today that are essentially one single element due to cost and efficiency.
“The structural engineering solutions required for this type of building – due largely to their size and requirement for uninterrupted, column free viewing – are often complex and sophisticated,” Chris said.
“This presented the opportunity for a ‘structurally expressive’ aesthetic comprising a diagrid roof supported by PTFE clad trusses, whereby each structural member is visible and each connection designed to express the structural loads carried within it. It really is a stand out feature and was made possible thanks to our architectural partners on this project, COX.”
The Western Grandstand development is the first stage of a multiple grandstand development, which will result in the Adelaide Oval having an expected seating capacity of 50,000 making it a first-class venue for all sports.
HASSELL is one of Australia’s leading multi-disciplinary architecture, design and planning firms. Since establishing in Adelaide in 1938, it has grown to become one of the nation’s largest and most respected with 11 offices located throughout Australia and Asia.
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