Preliminary design images for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena revealed

Four preliminary design images for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena are giving people an exciting glimpse into what the future holds for central Christchurch.

Crafted by Christchurch-based architects Warren & Mahoney and international stadium design experts Populous, the four images provide an external view of how the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) will sit on the site and a more detailed internal illustration from the stands during a sporting event.

CMUA Project Delivery Ltd Board Chair Barry Bragg says the preliminary designs, developed by the Kōtui consortium, provide the most accurate picture yet of what the facility will look like once completed:

These designs crystallise our vision for the CMUA to be the most modern, fit-for-purpose arena in the country – a facility that leads the way from an innovation and sustainability perspective.

The CMUA will occupy much of the central Christchurch site bordered by Hereford, Barbadoes, Tuam and Madras streets. At 232 metres long, 195 metres wide and 36 metres high at its tallest point, the arena will have a seating capacity of 30,000 for sporting events and up to 37,800 in concert mode.

Low aerial image of the CMUA showing the precinct and oculus-style roof

Mr Bragg added:

We know people are really excited about the prospect of having a covered arena in the heart of the city and we hope these preliminary designs will capture people’s imaginations and give them a glimpse of what is to come.

We are well on the way towards delivering Christchurch a world-class covered arena with high-quality acoustics that is capable of hosting top international music concerts as well as major international sporting fixtures.

Optimised design

The designs for the CMUA have developed significantly from the 2019 concepts to reflect the seismic requirements and to improve the health of the turf, the fan experience, the multi-use functionality, and to maximise the sunlight and minimise the noise impacts for neighbouring properties.

Because the roof needs to be a 175 metre by 210 metre single span across the field, the architects have opted for an oculus-style roof that has been designed as an independent structure to increase its strength. The dome shape provides extra rigidity to the roof diaphragm.

The preliminary designs are the first images to be published since the project’s investment case was first completed and approved at the end of 2019.

Councillors will meet to approve the complete preliminary design package in January, with the developed design scheduled to be completed by April. The Council will then decide whether to approve the Design and Construction contract in the middle of 2022.

Name gift for CMUA precinct

At Thursday’s Council meeting elected members will receive the CMUA Project Delivery Board’s Statement of Intent, assurance management plan, and receive a gifted name for the CMUA precinct.

The statement shows how the Board plans to deliver the world-class arena by no later than 30 June 2025 and outlines key actions to 10 areas that are critical to the Arena’s success and delivery.

The Board also commits to quarterly reports to Christchurch City Council on its performance targets and to ensure a strong three-way partnership between the Council, the Board and Venues Ōtautahi.

The assurance management plan outlines the plans and processes in place at five levels – from the project delivery team through to the Crown – to ensure the project is able to identify and respond to risks quickly and effectively.

On Thursday, the Council will also consider accepting the name ‘Te Kaharoa’, which Ngāi Tūāhuriri has gifted to the entire block of land that holds the CMUA. Te Kaharoa means ‘enduring strength’.

If the name is accepted, it will apply to the entire precinct bordered by Barbadoes, Tuam, Madras and Hereford streets. As the name is for the land, it would not limit any future conversations with potential sponsors seeking naming rights for the CMUA.

Project update

Led by Australian-based stadium construction experts, BESIX Watpac, Kōtui includes Christchurch-based construction companies Southbase Construction and Fulton Hogan, local seismic engineering specialists Lewis Bradford, Christchurch architects Warren and Mahoney, and global stadium design experts Populous and Mott MacDonald.

The projected completion date is now estimated to be the end of June 2025, with an updated project budget of $533 million.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Christchurch City Council Newsline

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