Christchurch Arena Preliminary Design Unveiled

First images of the preliminary design of New Zealand’s Canterbury Multi-Use Arena have been unveiled ahead of construction commencing in 2022.

Christchurch Arena Preliminary Design Unveiled

The exciting new fully enclosed arena is being delivered for the Christchurch City Council by the Kōtui team, led by BESIX Watpac.

The versatile multi-use venue will seat 30,000 fans in sporting stadium mode and 37,800 in concert configuration, all protected from the elements by the fully covered transparent roof.

The first high level images of the CMUA preliminary design released today reflect significant development of the original concept design released in 2019. Changes reflect the seismic requirements and to improve the health of the turf, the fan experience, the multi-use functionality, and to maximise the sunlight and minimise the noise impacts for neighbouring properties. An oculus-style roof design has been adopted to increase the strength of the structure which spans 175 metres by 210 metres. The dome shape provides extra rigidity to the roof diaphragm.

The architectural design has been prepared by Christchurch-based architects Warren & Mahoney and international arena design experts Populous.

Populous Director Chris Paterson said the Arena will be a place for Cantabrians to come together.

“Our team is working hard with Matapopore to design a venue that is connected with local culture; a flexible, urban arena within a thriving precinct for the community to enjoy memorable events and important celebrations. Populous is driven by designing places where people love to be together, and this sentiment fits perfectly with our work as part of the Kotui team,” Chris said.

BESIX Watpac’s global in-house engineering department has assisted in the development of the structural design, which is being produced by Mott MacDonald and reviewed by Christchurch engineering firm, Lewis Bradford.

BESIX Watpac Project Director Greg Muir said the engineering design work has entered the refinement stage.

“The Kōtui team has developed the engineering design and the delivery methodology and now we are focused on refining all aspects of the design to optimise value for money, safety and efficiency,” Greg said.

CMUA Project Delivery Ltd Board Chair Barry Bragg said the preliminary design is exciting.

“These designs crystallise our vision for the CMUA to be the most modern, fit-for-purpose arena in the country – a facility that leads the way from an innovation and sustainability perspective. We know people are really excited about the prospect of having a covered arena in the heart of the city and we hope the preliminary design will capture people’s imaginations and give them a glimpse of what is to come.

“We are well on the way towards delivering Christchurch a world-class covered arena with high-quality acoustics that is capable of hosting top international music concerts as well as major international sporting fixtures,’’ Barry said.

Christchurch City Council will meet to appraise the complete preliminary design package in January, with the developed design scheduled to be completed by April.

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