Westpac Stadium

  • Wellington
  • 1999

Sited on disused railway yards on the edge of Wellington Harbour, the 34,500 seat Westpac Stadium is the world’s first modern purpose-built cricket ground. It is also the home of New Zealand’s other main sporting code, rugby.

The project provided a unique opportunity to develop a world class cricket venue as a whole entity-rather than adding to an existing facility in a piecemeal fashion. The design demonstrates a minimalist approach, with the cricket arena cut back to the tightest possible configuration allowing the stadium to accommodate rugby games, without placing the spectators too far from the pitch. The stadium’s single tier continuous seating produces a sense of enclosure and intensity.

The building’s external skin of horizontally-striated reflective metal cladding has created a large sculptural landmark on the northern edge of the CBD.

The concourse areas include gallery spaces providing seven day a week entertainment, cultural and exhibition space serving the community. The stadium also includes offices, a sports medicine facility, cricket academy and a cricket museum.

The stadium was designed in a Populous joint venture, Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture, in association with Warren and Mahoney.