Melbourne Park Stage 3 Redevelopment, Australia

The ultimate sporting and entertainment precinct

The concept behind a sports facility has come full circle. From a place in history where athletes put on a competitive spectacle at ancient colosseums, now modern-day sports people and teams are watched by spectators clutching smart phones for a multimedia and multi-sensorial experience.

In Victoria, the modern-day sports and entertainment centre, Melbourne Park, is expanding its capability and flexibility to host both grand and intimate experiences for visitors.

Melbourne Park has undergone major transformations in recent years and this current expansion is Stage 3. Aurecon understands the precinct well, having previously upgraded Margaret Court Arena, redesigned the roof for Rod Laver Arena and been involved in numerous venue upgrades such as changing sports lighting to current LED technology.

The current expansion will give Melbourne Park:

  • A new 5 000-seat multipurpose Show Court Arena
  • New outdoor match courts
  • A large welcoming central terrace with elevated outdoor public arrival and entertainment space
  • CENTREPIECE, a new function and media centre featuring broadcast studios, auditorium, central and function kitchens and café/hirer space
  • An improved central logistics hub
  • Outside broadcast compound

Upon completion, visitors, sports fans, sports people and venue hirers will have vastly improved facilities.

Partnering with the project architect, NH Architecture + Snøhetta, Aurecon is providing mechanical, electrical and fire protection services, security, vertical transportation, audio visual, ICT, acoustics, environmentally sustainable design and fire engineering to the AUD 271.55 million sports and entertainment expansion, with CJ Arms providing hydraulics design services.

The importance of Melbourne Park

Melbourne Park delivers a year-round calendar of events, as well as the Australian Open, and attracts more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Its most iconic event is the Australian Open which alone creates more than 1 500 jobs every year and injects more than AUD 387 million into the Victorian economy.

The expansion that Aurecon is engineering will keep Melbourne Park classified as a world-class sporting and entertainment precinct, guaranteeing that the Australian Open remains in Melbourne until at least 2036.

These upgrades will not only provide a better player and spectator experience, but media broadcasters will have the perfect vantage point to transmit major sporting and entertainment events to their audiences around the world.

Aurecon’s history at Melbourne Park

Aurecon’s experienced design and engineering team has a strong history not only managing complex sports and entertainment projects, but also at the Melbourne Park site.

We previously provided structural engineering, civil engineering and building services for the transformation of Margaret Court Arena from an under-utilised outdoor tennis court into a year-round entertainment venue.

As part of Stage 2, Aurecon designed an upgrade to the retractable roof above Melbourne Park’s main stadium – Rod Laver Arena. The two roof panels, each 3 000 square metres in size, were jacked up to allow the complete removal of the original drive bogies and the installation of new bogies. Along with local structural strengthening, the roof control system was replaced and Aurecon programmed the new roof to close approximately six times faster than was previously possible with the original system.

Aurecon have also designed the LED sports lighting upgrades within Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena (formerly Melbourne Arena) and all outdoor courts as part of an energy efficient upgrade to the broadcast lighting with a key focus on fan engagement by use of the LED technology.

Around Australia, Aurecon has engineered every large operable stadium roof, including Marvel Stadium, John Cain Arena and Perth Arena, as well as Margaret Court Arena.

Engineering the future for Melbourne Park

Aurecon’s role in Melbourne Park’s current expansion includes:

  • Drawing on our long history at Melbourne Park, and deep understanding of the operational demands of the precinct, to tailor engineering designs to suit the future uses of the precinct
  • Using 3D modelling to visually present the engineering designs and using a cloud-based document management system to collaborate with the wider design and architectural team
  • Using global stadia experience to enhance the fan experience with technology infrastructure solutions such as live-action screens and LED sports lighting technology
  • Addressing climate resilience and occupant health and comfort by targeting a US LEED Gold rating, including the installation of a 122kW rooftop solar array.

As part of the wider consulting team, Aurecon is ensuring close coordination to enable the precinct to achieve its architectural intent. Aurecon’s design will stay true to the intention of the precinct, which is to provide civic and sporting facilities to rival the world’s greatest sporting and entertainment venues, including continuing to host the Australian Open.

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