The forthcoming redevelopment of Tasmania’s Blundstone Arena is gaining international acclaim as it races toward developmental milestones.
The state icon, which is set to get a complete facelift through the collaborative efforts of architectural firms Suters Architects and ARTAS Architects, comes with the hefty price tag of around $30 million.
According to the designers, and much of the supportive Tasmanian community, the redevelopment is necessary in order to cater to growing events, such as national and international cricket and AFL matches.
Sport is a key element of Australian culture, a beloved and traditional pastime, making the architecture tenders associated with these projects hot commodities.
“We are honoured to contribute to the delivery of this iconic national sporting facility,” says Suters senior associate Mike McGrath. “The redeveloped Blundstone Arena Bellerive will bring together amenities for the wider community and elite sport facilities for both, cricket and AFL.”
Efforts to contextualise the site within the community have helped to inform the overall architecture choices and design elements included in the final draft of the project.
McGrath explains that the design of the forthcoming 20,000-seat arena takes its form from close infrastructural neighbours – sailboats.
“The architecture is inspired by the sailboats on the Derwent River and creates accessible, stimulating and comfortable environments for all users’ needs, management of efficiencies, supervision and security,” he says.
Even with its international promotion, the arena has strong community roots that will be exemplified throughout the design and development processes.
“An information phase has begun with all the ground’s stakeholders. We look forward to working with stakeholder groups over the coming days to ensure we deliver a truly community focused facility,” says Scott Curran, project architect and director of ARTAS Architects.
Current structures will be retained where possible with a newly refurbished Members Stand offering a link between original and new structural components.
Accessibility and circulation will play a key role in the success of the development, with designers focusing on ‘user-friendliness’ of the space as a key component to the design.
While it may surprising that the little arena from Tasmania is gaining global attention, its design and creative response to the local aesthetic offers it a strong possibility of living up to the high expectations surrounding the project.
As is on track, the Blundstone Arena is is expected to be completed in 2015, in time for the 2015 World Cup.