|Innovative Use Of Temporary Structures- Richard Breslin|
|Bidding and Venue Development|
As London makes final preparations for the Olympics just months away now, we’ve worked out Populous has been involved in the design or temporary overlay design of 35 venues that will be used for the 2012 Olympic games incorporating a total of f 500,000 seats. At least half those seats – 250,000 in fact -will be temporary, taken away after the Games, because they are not needed for the long term legacy of the new Royal Park.
Reusable structures including temporary seating are particularly useful for cities staging one off sports events such as the Olympic Games. They can be used several times and are lighter in weight than permanent buildings, and save huge amounts of energy in both construction and transportation.
And it made me think about an inspirational temporary stadium that is currently under construction on the other side of the world, in Christchurch in New Zealand which has taken its cue from the London Olympics.
As the city continues the painstaking process of rebuilding following last year’s destructive earthquake, the new Christchurch Stadium, which is expected to have a life of between three and five years, is on schedule for a March 24th opening… and it is a great symbol of optimism and renewal.
Christchurch has the most successful rugby union team in a country which everyone knows is totally rugby mad. But the city’s main sporting and entertainment venue, AMI stadium, was among the buildings so badly damaged in last year’s earthquakes, it was unable to host any World Cup Rugby matches, and its long term future remains undecided.
Cantabrians have missed having somewhere to get together and celebrate. So the new 18,000 seat Christchurch stadium, with two partially covered stands, will be the city’s only outdoor venue for major sporting and music events for the next few years. It will be used as the home ground for the Super 14 Rugby team but will be flexible enough to be used for rugby league, soccer and concerts, and has the potential to increase its capacity to 25,000 for a major event such as a Rugby test match.
We’ve used our experience with the London 2012 Olympics and in particular the main stadium to create a unique gathering place in Christchurch. The new stadium is being built to the highest safety standards but it is using fabric and graphics to embrace the temporary nature of the stadium in an imaginative and inexpensive way and give it a special identity.
We learnt from our work on the London Olympic stadium that a fabric roof and a stadium wrap (made of strips of boldly coloured material) could create the drama necessary for such a high profile Event but was flexible enough to be part of the reconfiguration for a more modest building in legacy mode.
In Christchurch, we are also using fabric for dramatic effect. A red, lightweight, fabric ribbon - the colour of the famous Rugby Union home team, the Canterbury Crusaders – will be woven through the scaffolding of the temporary stands to draw people in, create a sense of occasion and excitement.
About Richard Breslin:
Richard is a Senior Principal at Populous and is part of the management team of the Brisbane office. Richard is responsible for all of the firm’s projects in New Zealand and Australia.
In 1997, Richard commenced work with the team on the design of Stadium Australia (now ANZ Stadium), the main venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. At this time, he also worked on the event overlay for the Games, reviewing initial designs for Homebush Olympic Park.
Following the successful delivery of the 2000 Summer Games, Richard worked on the design of the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium, before leading the design team for two stadia constructed in Portugal (Estadio da Luz in Lisbon and Estadio Algarve in Faro) in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2004 soccer competition.
In 2006, he was Project Leader for the design of the Soccer CIty Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was also appointed project leader for Populous’ successful master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Park. Populous has since been appointed as overlay planning consultants for the London 2012 Summer Games, and has also designed the main stadium, to seat 80,000 during the Games and 25,000 post-games.
In 2007, Richard emigrated to New Zealand, where he led the teams on the design of the 60,000 seat Eden Park redevelopment in Auckland and the 30,000 seat Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, the first fully covered fixed roof stadium with a natural grass pitch. Both were venues for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Richard is also leading the design of the Claudelands Event Centre - a new combined arena, exhibition and conference centre in Hamilton, New Zealand.