published in sb 2/2018
‘Fans first’ approach
The HASSELL COX HKS design acknowledges the unique sporting, cultural and Aboriginal heritage, and the Stadium Park landscape provides a spectacular vista across the Swan River to the city of Perth. Revitalising what was once the waste ground of the city into a vibrant new public park, the development reconnects the city to its environmental and original cultural links with the river. The multi-purpose 60,000-seat stadium is already attracting global recognition as a world-class venue.
Set within a 30-hectare Stadium Park located on the banks of the Swan River, the Optus Stadium design is based on a commitment to a ‘fans first’ approach. This has resulted in an innovative design ensuring an exceptional event atmosphere and home-ground advantage that delivers an unsurpassed visitor experience. The ‘fans first’ approach is about more than just the fans who enter the gates of this world-class venue but relates to the whole community which has been part of the creation of this uniquely Western Australian building. Combining an appreciation of this historic piece of land and culture and the sporting prowess of the city and State, it provides a true icon for all people of Western Australia.
The bold simple form of the stadium with its stratified bronze-anodised façade tells a story of the land, reflecting the unique geology by day as a shimmering form rising from the river, ever-changing during the tracking of the day to a dynamic radiant, pulsating light form by night, reflecting the drama of the home team and events inside this modern coliseum.
The multi-purpose stadium accommodates Australian-rules football, cricket, Rugby Union and League, football and entertainment events. The coliseum seating ‘bowl’ maximises the fans connection to the field of play, creating a unique atmosphere for fans giving them exceptional views from anywhere in the stadium.
Up to 10,000 extra seats are designed to increase the seating capacity within the existing structure. Drop-in seats add flexibility and thus enable the operator to host major events consistent with the requirements for Commonwealth Games and international athletics.
A lightweight fabric roof covers over 85% of seats and responds to Perth’s climatic conditions. At night, it presents a spectacular glowing halo effect. State-of-the-art team facilities include flexible warm-up and recovery areas.
Giant video screens
Cox Architecture aimed to create the most welcoming and comfortable environment possible. Optus Stadium includes the widest range of hospitality options in any sports venue within Australia including the innovative locker room, coaches club, sky terraces, corporate suites, club lounges, a 2,000-person function room, retail and over 50 food and beverage outlets. Two 340 m² giant video screens using the latest technology are the largest stadia screens in the southern hemisphere. More than 1,000 TV screens are strategically located throughout the interior of the stadium so fans never miss the action.
The Stadium Park, open year-round to the public, incorporates a covered community arbour linking the stadium station to the Swan River, an amphitheatre, children’s playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk. A community sports oval is available for public use on non-game days and a network of walking and cycle tracks weaves throughout. Landscape design around the precinct is inspired by the six seasons of the local indigenous people, providing wind and shade protection.
The form of the stadium station was underpinned by functional pedestrian planning, allowing for the safe and rapid transfer of passengers with the design taking into consideration patron comfort, providing shelter connecting to a community arbour provided in the precinct. This landscaped forecourt collection area allows for easier crowd control and is able to support other community functions on non-event days.