Architects: ARM Architecture, CCN
Location: Perth WA 6000 Australia
Project Director: Stephen Ashton
Jv Director: Dominic Snellgrove
Design Director: Howard Raggatt
Project Architects: Stephen Davies, Peter Keleman
Senior Team Leader: Steve Christie
Area: 28300.0 sqm
Photographs: Greg Hocking, Peter Bennetts, John Gollings
Design Architects: Andrew Lilleyman, Jeremy Stewart, Jonothan Cowle
Interior Design: Andrea Wilson, Jacqueline Cunningham
Project Team: Luke Davey, Beata Szulc, Jonathan Davis, Greg Stretch, Doug Dickson, Michael Edmonds, Ian Surtees, Deborah Binet, Steve Christie
The Perth Arena is perhaps like the ancient Greek myth of the Trojan Horse – an object of desire, dragged into great triumph and allowed to bring its rampage of entertainment with it. With up to 15,000 seats, an operable roof for sporting matches, 36 VIP super boxes, five major multi‐purpose event rooms, half a dozen food and beverage outlets and a 700‐space basement car park, the Perth Arena becomes a stand‐alone entertainment extravaganza for the city.
Perth Arena features a retractable roof that can open in seven minutes allowing natural light to flood the centre court. It also features five multi‐purpose event rooms, half a dozen food and beverage outlets, state of the art acoustics, function spaces, corporate hospitality suites, cafes and a basement car park. The stadium has a very flexible design, allowing for crowds of up to 15,500 in general admission concert mode and up to 14,000 in tennis mode. Alternatively, the arena can be closed down for an intimate concert with 3000 people.
The striking design was inspired by the 12‐sided Round House in Fremantle and the 209 irregular shaped pieces of Christopher Monckton’s Eternity Puzzle. ‘This landmark building has been designed to provoke symbolic interpretation, create direct visual responses from all approaches, and become an integral part of the city’s overall urban design and architectural strategy,’ said design director Howard Raggatt.
Our architectural strategy was simple: provide a core multi‐functional arena without compromise and then surround it with variable circulation and a striking configuration. Most venues of this type provide continuous repetitive spaces around the core function. We have explored this building typology another way. Instead of a singular facade we have created extreme variability, giving the building a different face from every angle. Whether approaching from the elevated freeway to the west, the grand boulevard to the south, the railway lines on the north or new urban developments to the east, every facade presents a new dynamic. It is the interior, and especially the entrance and great public concourses, that best express our vision for the building. Instead of a brutally unimaginative interior, Perth Arena is inspired by the whole experience of a public building, and especially the experience of looking out to the city.
Sustainable features include mixed mode natural ventilation to public concourses, displacement air conditioning system through the seating plats reducing energy consumption, photo voltaic (solar) array on the roof, WELLS‐rated fixtures and fittings and waterless urinals, locally sourced materials (e.g. West Australian granite for the entry foyers) and a water sensitive landscape design.
ARM and CCN provided advice to the client on artist selection and were involved in reviews of the final design. Six years in the making, Geoffrey Drake‐Brockman’s ‘Totem’ draws on sophisticated robotics and schoolyard origami to make a memorable piece of public art. Its moving panels are programmed to open and close like flower petals in response to people walking past and it shoots geometric laser projections onto the wall of the Arena at night. ‘Totem’ has affectionately become known as the ‘Perth Pineapple’.