The COX Architecture-designed Sydney Football Stadium is nearing its grand opening, with the project reaching the final stages of its four year design phase.

The entire structure has been completed, with the turf laid last week. While it will house a number of permanent sporting tenants, the stadium is readymade for a number of cultural and community events, making it a jewel in the crown of the harbour city that doesn’t sit on the waterfront.

COX envisions the SFS as a stadium in the park, with the structure connecting with the surrounding parklands and arterial roads. A number of active spaces have been implemented within the design, with the view and experience of the spectator in the stands priority number one for the practice.

sydney football stadium

The new sweeping roof is reminiscent of its predecessor, covering every single seat in the stadium, with the structure utilising some 40 percent less steel compared to the former. The ribbon-esque external facade channels technology, engineering and art, with the materiality acknowledging its immediate surroundings of fig trees, Kippax Lake, Paddington and the Sydney Cricket Ground. The stadium’s ‘skin’ conceals the functional areas of the stadium and allows the structure to sit coherently amongst the parklands.

“More community value, more experience for teams and fans, and with better connection to surrounding parkland and amenity. It is something that is simultaneously sculptural and highly functional. It is lighter, kinder to the environment and more self-sufficient as a structure than any other major stadium in Australia,” says COX Director Patrick Ness.

An activated events platform placed at the epicentre of the stadium will create a flexible public precinct without fences or barriers. There’s over 330 dedicated wheelchair viewing locations, 48 food and beverage outlets and a clear wayfinding system underpinned by straightforward circulation. Media and broadcast facilities have been given an update, with international-grade team facilities making it perfect for international sporting events.

SCG Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd says the stadium matches up with some of the best in the world.

“I’ve been around the world looking at the best stadiums all over the world. This is right up there,” he tells the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadiums are the ones to benchmark against. They are bigger stadiums but designed with the consumer in mind. It’s about making the customer experience as good as you can in terms of food and beverage, access, seat comfort, view lines, all of those sorts of things.”

Indigenous artist Tony Albert is responsible for the design of the artwork that is displayed across the seats. The work, titled Two worlds colliding, looks to bring together two separate groups imagined as land and sea, similar to home and away teams playing one another.

The stadium has been built to achieve a LEED Gold rating, with the number of trees onsite set to double as part of the revamp. Allianz Stadium will open for a free community day on August 28, with the first sporting event being the local derby between NRL rivals South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters on September 2.

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Images: Austadiums