Pack air sickness pills before ascending the vertiginous upper levels of Sydney’s SuperDome - just in case! This will be the advice for the faint-hearted who negotiate the 20,000 steeply raked burgundy coloured seats to keep spectators’ eye-balling the action without the need for opera glasses.
Big, bold and unequivocal
Sitting alongside the main athletics stadium was a formidable challenge for Cox Richardson Architects and Planners. The venue’s metallic form is punctuated along the curving south-east face with a vast sweep of Pilkington glazing that invites entry to ticket offices, cafe/lounge and a voluminous foyer. With below and above ground structure, the stadium is equivalent to a 14-storey tower. The roof spans 200 metres in one direction and is 150 metres wide across to create the largest single roof, enclosed volume of any entertainment facility in the southern hemisphere. Delicate spectators should not apply.
Vast without being overbearing or bombastic, the structure succeeds through a remarkably flexible interior and an expanse of steel and glass that connect supremely to the Olympic Boulevard plaza. The project’s feature attraction is its relationship to the plaza proper. Full height glazing along the main public south-east face invites an easy ‘reading’ of the facility visitors as they arrive from the Olympic Park Railway Station.
In addition, the stupendous glazed wall admits generous quantities of daylight into foyer and lounge areas and assists in instant orientation.