Populous-designed Manuka Oval Media and Function Centre recognised at AIA Awards
June 20, 2019
The Manuka Oval Media and Function Centre, designed by Populous, received a commendation on Saturday night at the 2019 ACT Architecture Awards in the Commercial Building category.
Architect and project lead Belinda Goh said the recognition highlights Populous’ commitment to designing vibrant and innovative spaces worldwide, while responding to complex local constraints around heritage and character.
“At Populous, we take great pride in creating places where people love to be together, and the Manuka Oval Media and Function Centre was a unique opportunity to add a world-class touch to a local project,” Goh said.
“The space is designed to meet the International Cricket Council’s rigorous standards as a test match venue, while its flexible, dual-purpose interiors can be transformed as required, serving as an extraordinary event space year-round for AFL and community events.”
Goh said Populous was involved at every stage of the project, from working with the ACT Government to provide design advice for the initial funding application, to community consultation, to working with the contractor to ensure the project was delivered on time and to a high standard.
“Populous contributed to the entire process, from concept through to delivery,” Goh said. “ACT Government approached us to develop the initial design feasibility, and when funding was approved they were pleased to bring us on board to bring international cricket to the venue for the first time.
“We took into account the technical requirements around hosting international cricket broadcast media while considering the current venue’s operations, influencing details such as front- and back-of-house operations, flexible seating and function spaces, venue wayfinding and interiors.
“The result is a building that is more than simply fit for purpose – it is an innovative, state-of-the art facility.”
Goh said the building’s interiors draw inspiration from the Australian love of sport, the nearby flora, and the surrounding Canberra suburbs, while its gestural façade form and material blends with the surrounding heritage treed landscape.
“The project had particular constraints around fitting within management of a heritage landscape and context, with three rings of trees around the oval that needed to be preserved and maintained.
“The building design is considered, very much in keeping with the site’s history as a new layer of development and as space for public recreation and events.”
Chief Minister of the ACT, Andrew Barr, congratulated Populous on the award adding that the Media and Function Centre has been a game changer for Canberra and Manuka Oval.
“The Media and Function Centre has been a wonderful addition to Manuka Oval and has brought some great opportunities to our city. We received some very positive feedback from media outlets using the centre for the first time during Canberra’s first International Test Cricket Match in February.”
“I would like to thank Populous for their work on designing this centre, which has allowed us to bring more international cricket games to Canberra in the 2019-20 cricket season, and a huge congratulations for winning this well-deserved award.”