New Zealand’s main stadium, Eden Park in Auckland, has undergone the biggest transformation in its 100 year history. The new ground, the main stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, held its first major games since the redevelopment, on November 6, and more than 44,000 fans attended the two games of the Four Nations Rugby League tournament.
Eden Park is the home of Auckland rugby and cricket and the design draws upon its revered place in the country’s sporting history, so that it has retained its historical and cultural significanc as the country's premier stadium, but it is now distinctly 21st century and unmistakably Kiwi in appearance.
Global sports architecture specialist, Populous, was the lead consultant for the NZD $240M redevelopment, in association with local architects Jasmax, working for the Client. The Eden Park Trust, from concept design to delivery, and including upgrading way finding to reflect the new design and image.
The stadium capacity will be increased to 60,000 for the Rugby World Cup tournament when half a million visitors are expected through the gates, and afterwards, the stadium will be reconfigured to 50,000 in legcacy mode.
There are now four main gates, one at each corner of the park, each flanked by an intricately carved statue representing a God from Maori Legend. The statues known in Maori as tekoteko (three dimensional carvings), are destined to become new icons for the parkand for sport in New Zealand.
The stadium is set within a sensitive historical residential neighborhood, Populous Senior Principal Richard Breslin said that it is this residential context, lack of public transport access and the varying state of repair of the stands which created a complex array of issues that needed to be addressed in the design.
Lead Architect: Populous
Site Architect: Jasmax
Client: The Eden Park Trust
Builder: The Fletcher Construction Company Ltd
Way finding: Populous
Cost: NZD $240M
Capacity: 60,000 Event mode, 50,000 legacy mode
Main Event: Rugby World Cup
South Stand: 21,6000
East Stand: 8,300
ASB Stand Extension: 1,700
Corporate Boxes: 50 new + 27 existing (ASB stand)
Construction Time: 25 months
Images courtesy of Populous