Saxton Field Sports Stadium, New Zealand

The Saxton Stadium in Nelson was designed to provide not only a sports stadium, but also a venue for many recreational events, with the aspiration of becoming a central part of the Nelson and Tasman community.

In delivering this project, a number of challenges typical to community funded projects were addressed, including the need to:

  • Design a functional building that provides flexibility for all current and future sporting codes
  • Create an indoor environment that meets the performance requirements of community level indoor sport
  • Construct a facility that is attractive and comfortable for participants and their supporters
  • Minimise operational costs through quality design and construction.

These outcomes were achieved through features including an economical but lightweight roof structure consisting of bowstring trusses spanning 40 metres to provide an arched roof over the main sports hall. The building also includes environmentally sustainable design features such as solar water heating, rainwater storage, natural ventilation for the main halls and a 200mm thick trombe wall.

The stadium includes five timber floored courts for multi-sport use, including netball, volleyball and basketball, and also houses a separate complex for table tennis. In addition, the building includes mezzanine level viewing areas, management facilities and offices for the local sporting organisations.

Aurecon’s engineers provided key input to create an attractive and comfortable indoor environment that meets the performance requirements of current and future community level indoor sports.  The well engineered solution produced stunning architectural results, met a challenging project budget, and ensured long term sustainability goals were achieved, as well as the minimisation of operational costs through quality design and construction.

The stadium won the Commercial Architectural Excellence Award in the 2009 NZ Wood Timber Design Awards with the entrance atrium achieving a special mention for producing a beautiful architectural result using engineered timber solutions.

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