Taking form from function is a creative approach to architecture. Sometimes designs of this nature can seem farcical and quickly become outdated, but they can also often allow buildings to take on a true symbolic context that perfectly represents the overall goal of the design brief.
With a shading and façade system that looks like wickets and a birds-eye-view of the pitch that resembles a cricket ball, the plans for New Zealand’s International Cricket Ground certainly leave little doubt as the function of the structure.
Designed by architecture firm the Ministry of Architecture + Interiors (MOA+I), this civic project has been planned to function as a test cricket ground overlooking the Waitemata Habour in Auckland.
Renderings of the grounds look clean and modern, a far cry from the monolithic concrete forms that modern sporing stadiums typically take.
The design is already inspiring acclaim for its soft and almost curvaceous form, with the gridded wooden façade allowing for sneak peaks of the fresh green cricket pitch.
While it is still in very early developmental stages, the project has been designed to offer undercover seating to 2,000 spectators, and an additional 6,000 uncovered seats.
Also included in the facilities will be players’ rooms, food and drinks facilities, and media and events space.
The bright, relaxed feel of the development means it won’t create the somewhat stuffy atmosphere of many more enclosed stadiums. According to the architects, this was a conscious and considered decision in creating the kind of sporting infrastructure that would be relevant to modern cricket.
“As well as a response to the current debate on the future of New Zealand test cricket, the proposals look to work within the vision for the future of the Tank Farm site, as set out by the Urban Design Framework (UDF) for the development of a ‘robust and clear urban structure and network of open spaces,” say MOA+I.
The evolution of the sporting arena is in high focus given the current Olympic frenzy. Creating a structure that is unique and contextualised is key to the success of such culturally important venues, a goal the designers certainly met in this particular proposal.