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2018 National Architecture Awards: The Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture

Optus Stadium by Hassell Cox HKS The Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Optus Stadium is an immensely complex undertaking that successfully resolved structural, social and commercial challenges to deliver a worldclass sporting arena. The project used approximately 14,000 tonnes of structural steel to achieve clear cover to 85 percent of the 60,000 seats, while addressing challenging ground conditions. The use of steel complemented an ambitious fast-track construction schedule, allowing future flexibility and a high level of refined architectural detailing.

All primary steelwork was fabricated in Western Australia ahead of schedule. The design also futureproofed the stadium for a 10,000-seat expansion, with uninterrupted sightlines and the inclusion of removable steel plates for an athletics track. Other key steel initiatives included a piled structure to overcome the ground conditions; single-span feature roof trusses with architectural pin connections; feature primary steel tapered columns, beams and seating bowl rakers; prefabricated facade cladding modules; Australia’s largest video screen structures; the complex curved geometry of the community arbour; Colorbond roofing on the food and beverage and ticket gate pavilions; and Colorbond roller shutters throughout.

The architectural and structural geometry of the roof was also developed to address an ambitious program requiring prefabrication as well as transportation and erection challenges. Cleverly designed pin joint systems have tolerances that can absorb differential movement across the joints of the structure below and this allows finetuning to ensure alignment of the leading edge.

The jury was impressed by the architects’ innovative use of steel, both as a regional economic contributor and in its significant contribution to the overall success of the stadium’s design and resolution. All in all, a compelling and worthy contribution to Australia’s steel architecture tradition.

Optus Stadium will be reviewed by Philip Vivian in a future issue of Architecture Australia.


Architect & interior designer
Hassell Cox HKS
Project Team
Peter Dean, Alastair Richardson (design architects), Matthew Batchelor, Brenden Kelly (project architects), Peter Lee, Patrick Vereker, Bradley Anderson, Toby Hitzman, Robert Hardie, Mark Ainsworth, Reuben Bourke, Phil Davies, Kaine Jenkins, Robin Deutschmann, Patrick O’Neill, Carl Tappin, Mark McKenna, Clare Dawson, Suzy Wright, Thanhson Su, Felicity Komorowski, Irene Payne, Greg Howlett, Chris Smiles, James Allison, Nigel Saull, Derek Tallon, Renae Prisov, Jonathan Chong, Vicky Vu, Hannah Beck, Carolyn James, Daryl Guido, Fathmath Evans, Luke Gay, Jeremy Graham, RJ Estacio, Paul Hyett, Filae Gil, Merlyn Santos, Jonathan Southgate, Partho Dutta, Stuart Harper (architectural team members), Narelle Corker, David Russell, Zoe King, Yvette Petit, Amanda York, Louise Buckingham, Natalie Grier (interiors team members), Anthony Brookfield, Sarah Gaikhorst, Hannah Galloway, Douglas Pott, Aysen Jenkins, Hannah Pannell, Nicholas Pearson, Jill Turpin (landscape team members)
Access and maintenance consultant Altura
Acoustic consultant Marshall Day
BCA consultant John Massey Group
Builder Multiplex
Catering consultant Mike Driscoll and Associates
Civil consultant BG&E
Electrical consultant Wood and Grieve
Engineer Wood and Grieve
Facade and roof lighting consultant Ramus Illumination
Fire engineer Wood and Grieve
Hydraulic consultant SPP Group
Landscape consultant Hassell
Public art consultants FORM
Security consultant Wood and Grieve
Structural and facade consultant Arup
Traffic engineer Arup
Waste management consultant Encycle
Wayfinding Buro North
Wind Engineering CCP
Site details
Location Perth,  WA,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Public / civic, Sport
Project Details
Status Built
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