Going into bat at the Adelaide Oval

Duncan Bainbridge
Wednesday 04 Mar 2009

HASSELL and Cox grandstand design revealed

Adelaide Oval is widely regarded as the most picturesque Test cricket ground in the world, with St Peter's Cathedral rising behind the elegant Edwardian scoreboard and Moreton Bay fig trees at the northern end, the Mount Lofty Ranges to the east, and nearby city skyline to the south. Working with Cox Architects, HASSELL has developed a new grandstand design that is contemporary yet maintains the heritage features of the Oval.

The $95 million project will increase the venue's capacity from 30,000 to 36,000 and includes major upgrades to player and spectator facilities. The four-tier western grandstand will stretch from the Bradman Stand in the south to the grassed hill in the north-west. The stand will provide seating for 14,000 spectators and ensures views from the bars and dining room as well as comprehensive upgrades to the venue’s amenities, storage and operational infrastructure.

Unlike other major sports grounds in Australia, Adelaide Oval has preserved its historic and aesthetic charm. The new western members’ grandstand respects this by conserving the historic George Giffen Stand and its heritage arches; that along with the Edwardian scoreboard are listed on the State Heritage Register.

The promenade will include two undercover fast serve kiosks at the north and south ends, two centrally located serve-and-go bars, an at-match members’ inquiry hub, improved ATM facilities, brand new male and female toilets as well as a fully equipped unisex parents room, kitchenette, feeding lounge, baby change and toddlers room.

The Oval's familiar short square boundaries and deep pockets will be reshaped, bringing fans in the north-west and south west corners of the ground 12-15 metres closer to the action and removing the "impossible kick" for goal from the pockets.

Increased shade is achieved by an expansive, highly engineered, freespan column-free “diagrid” roof. In accordance with the requirements of the Adelaide Oval Conservation Plan, the design of the new stands specifically preserves open space and grassed mounds between buildings and permits views into and out of the grounds.

Other highlights include new player change rooms and viewing areas, a large 600 cover dining room, a 45m long bar and an elevated outdoor spectator eating area with views over Adelaide Oval No. 2 andthe western parklands.

Work will begin on 10 March 2009 following the West End Redbacks final Weet-Bix Sheffield Shield match of the season against the PKF Tasmanian Tigers and is scheduled to be completed by November 2010, in time for the Ashes Test series.

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Sport in architecture

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