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All posts tagged roofing

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) has begun plans for an AUD$50m project to put a roof on Ken Rosewall Arena and transform the tennis venue into a multi-purpose facility.

With crowds at the Sydney International dwindling and the city searching for an indoor facility to host top-flight sport and entertainment, SOPA has commissioned BVN Architects to design a roof for the 11,000-seat Olympic tennis facility.

Fairfax Media understands Tennis NSW, Netball NSW and Basketball NSW have all backed the plans to put a roof on the venue, which would require partial funding from SOPA. The Sydney Kings and NSW Swifts are being earmarked as permanent residents.

BVN Architects’ practice director, Ross Seymour, said:

We looked at not just a closing roof for tennis, but actually what it would take to get it as a multi-purpose stadium.

Once it has a roof you can take basketball and netball events. I believe there’s a lot of support from the potential users. Netball, basketball and obviously Tennis NSW are behind this. It would take some support from the state government in terms of funding.

The state government has just begun a feasibility study on a potential AUD$150m indoor facility to be built in the CBD. However, the redevelopment of Ken Rosewall Arena might prove a cheaper alternative – despite hope there could be room for both projects in the budget.

The AUD$50m budget estimation to transform Ken Rosewall Arena also includes the renovation of the changing room facilities, which would allow for team sports to be played. It also includes plans to incorporate corporate facilities on the second level platform, as well as additional options at the top of the grandstand.

Seymour commented:

That $50 million budget doesn’t just include the roof, it’s also to update some of the base building facilities.

Because it would be used for a team sport like basketball or netball, you would need to update the change rooms and the number of change rooms.

The idea is that it will also take events, so things like green rooms and capabilities to cater for performers. It’s a reasonably minor part of the $50 million budget but it’s an important component of ensuring it’s a quality multi-purpose arena.

The artist’s impression of the transformed Ken Rosewall Arena shows a “circular oculus” design, which would work on a rotating louvre system that would allow the control of light and ventilation while also providing protection from wet weather.

The Sydney International is in desperate need of a boost having experienced a 37 per cent drop in attendance figures since 2012.

The Australian Open is growing from strength to strength, while the Hopman Cup and Brisbane International are able to attract the biggest names with enclosed courts at both venues.

Total crowd figures have been hovering on either side of the 100,000 mark for the past few years in Brisbane and Perth, however just over 56,000 attended last year’s Sydney tournament, which included Australians Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur.

The light rail connection to be built through the Sydney Olympic Park precinct – which runs from Parramatta through Rosehill to Strathfield – will also stop near Ken Rosewall Arena, while a new off ramp westbound on the M4 at Hill Road will also provide easier access to the venue.

Plans are still in the early stages but Seymour believes it could be up and running in time for the 2018 Sydney International.

Seymour added:

It’s a fairly efficient build compared to a new build.

It could be achieved relatively quickly. I think it would be built in less than 12 months I would expect, but the design phase would push it out past next year’s tournament but it could definitely be ready in time for the 2018 tournament. It would bring the facility back up to an international benchmark level.


Image: Renovations: The artist’s impression of the roof at Ken Rosewall Arena.

Star Events wins major contract in China

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Star Events will design and supply a world-class rigging system to STU Sports Park in Shantou, on the south east coast of China.

Set within Shantou University, the Sports Park includes a state-of-the-art, multi-use arena with incorporated hotel and conference facilities. Star Events is contracted to design and install two rigging Mothergrids, which will cover three-quarters of the arena floor and can lift and hold production equipment weighing up to 70 tons.

The company will also provide the perimeter rigging system that will hold 33 large format, high-definition projectors supplied by American company Obscuitara Digital. All 80 of the hoists will be controlled by Star’s Active Roof Technology (The ART of rigging™) system.

STU Sports Park General Manager, Greg Turner, said:

We wanted a venue that could host a diversified event schedule and allowed promoters to move in and out as efficiently as possible. Thus our team has been working with Star Events for the past year, developing a flexible design which enables us to utilise every kilogram of capacity in our venue roof, so we can host the widest range of entertainment.

 Star Events’ commitment to China, the constant availability of its staff in China to meet with the various stakeholders, and its globally recognised expertise in event rigging were all key factors in the award of this contract.

Roger Barrett, Special Projects Director at Star Events, said:

Winning the Shantou University contract is very significant for the future of Star Events in China. And it means that we now operate over the full length of the country’s eastern seaboard, with Mothergrid installations in the North (Beijing) and the South (Shantou), either side of our central operational base in Shanghai.


Image caption: Shantou University Sports Park.

Star Events is one of the many industry-leading companies exhibiting at this September’s must-attend event for those involved in sports venue design/build, management, operation, fit-out and technology, Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, with the firm’s Roger Barrett to speak during the conference session focused on ‘Roofing’.

In addition, David Manica, Principal at MANICA Architecture – the firm behind the Shantou Sports Park’s design – will discuss this 50,000sqm complex, which includes a multi-use arena; a nanatorium with competitive Olympic swimming pool; sport & fitness training facilities; a flexible grand conference hall; a 200-room boutique hotel; and an underground car park.

The preliminary conference programme for Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 will be unveiled within the coming days. If you would like to reserve your place, email Sam Wibrew TODAY at:


Fabric Architecture™ secures world first at World Cup

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To enhance fan engagement during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, the Qatar FIFA Fan Zone in Doha featured a global design first: a striking retractable fabric roofing system by Fabric Architecture™. Set to become an exemplar project for Kinetic Architecture™ in the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, the structure benefitted from the flexibility of a complete, partial or fully open roofing system to create a comfortable interior environment.


Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s fan zone, opened on 28th June, 2014. The structure broadcasted the last 16 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ tournament to crowds of up to 2,000 people on Qatar’s largest LED panoramic screen.


Designing an appropriate roofing solution for the structure meant overcoming a number of challenges. The fan zone required an open-air design, yet had to provide spectators with protection and respite from the high temperatures and it had to be constructed within a short time scale.


As such, the experienced teams of Project Engineers at Arup and Fabric Architecture were appointed to deliver this unique roofing system and Fabric Architecture appointed SCX Special Projects to develop the electrical mechanical interface.


The roof was designed with eight fabric canopies fixed onto 12-metre long tracks and each canopy retracted individually or in tandem; meaning the zone could benefit from a complete or partial open-air structure providing protection when necessary in a comfortable interior environment. The fabric canopy was a low-e fabric, which featured a solar transmission factor of just 4%.


The 12-metre long tracks creating the roof structure sit atop four towers. Air conditioning ducts were installed within these towers and also in several cooling tables located under the stage and the seating around the fan zone. This meant that, although the cooling system itself was discreet, it helped to reduce the zone’s interior temperature by 19 degrees when compared with the external temperature.


Nic Merridew, Programme Management Consultant, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy commented:

Delivering a roofing system that had never been attempted before, and in such a short time frame, was of course a real challenge. Fabric Architecture’s expertise, enthusiasm and experience as well as the company’s collaborative hands-on approach, was absolutely crucial to the project’s success.


Nigel Browne, Design Director at Fabric Architecture, added:

We have worked on a number of kinetic architecture projects and have created beautiful yet practical structures. However, the World Cup fan zone represented a unique set of design, performance and environmental challenges. We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved and we have played an integral role in demonstrating that an open-air arena can be cooled from 45°C to 26°C; in the case of this project it was even surpassed. We fully expect this to become an exemplar project for different open air stadia around the world.