Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane, Australia
Opened in 2003
Architecture, Interior Design
‘The Cauldron,’ as Suncorp Stadium is known, is the most intimate 50,000-seat rectangular stadium in Australia. Spectators are only six meters from the sideline at the closest point: this close proximity and colosseum design ensures the most intense atmosphere for fans of Rugby League, Rugby Union and Football (Soccer) every year.

The challenge was to redevelop and modernize the existing venue, which sits within a highly populated residential area. Populous designed the stadium to fit the contours of the site, suppressing the structure of the massive stadium within its neighborhood setting. The horizontal roof plane diminishes the scale of the building as well as providing a means of enclosing noise and light.

The sports lighting is designed to minimize light spill into the surrounding suburbs, the lighting outside the stadium is low impact and a service road for heavy vehicles is located beneath the stadium to minimize disruption to local roads.

The stadium also shares the site with the historical Christ Church and memorial graveyard. An integral part of the design requirement was to incorporate the church into the stadium precinct.

In addition to preserving the atmosphere and creating a 21st-century venue, Suncorp Stadium has incorporated innovative design features that reflect a sub-tropical climate and outdoor lifestyle, adding to a distinctively Queensland atmosphere. Features include the low floating roof, timber screens and verandas containing open-air bars.

The integration of Suncorp Stadium into the city of Brisbane was seen as fundamental to its success. The stadium is only a kilometer from the city, but it has traditionally been perceived as being a long way out for pedestrian traffic, due to the obstacles caused by major arterial roads. To overcome this, a series of new pedestrian and transport infrastructure routes were developed, linking the stadium back to the city. The development was done in conjunction with an integrated transport strategy that improved the access to the stadium and encouraged patrons either to walk or use public transport.




Since its opening in 2003, the venue has hosted a wide variety of sporting events including the Rugby World Cup, National Rugby League, the annual State of Origin and in 2017 held the Battle of Brisbane and a boxing match featuring Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao which attracted 51,026 attendees. Additionally, it was the home of the first Brisbane Global Tens, a competition which featured 16 club teams from around the world to play the ten-a-side format of Rugby Union.

The stadium has also successfully hosted a number of major concerts such as Robbie Williams, The Police, Andre Rieu, U2, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift.

  • 2021

    • Austadiums Best NRL Venue 2021 (fan-led poll)
  • 2005

    • Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Award, Sir Zelman Cowen Commendation for Public Buildings
    • Australian Institute of Architects State Public Buildings, Cultural Building Award
  • 2004

    • Australian Institute of Architects Regional Award, Commendation
    • Australian Institute of Architects State Award, Commendation
  • 2003

    • Blue Scope Steel State Award
    • Engineers Australia Queensland Awards, Building Section Award
5 items.
  • Paul Henry Senior Principal, Co-Managing Director – APAC, Founder Brisbane
  • Chris Paterson Senior Principal, Director Brisbane
  • Shaun Gallagher Senior Principal, Architect Brisbane
  • David Johnston Principal, Senior Architect Brisbane
  • Christopher Hardie Senior Associate, Brand Activation Lead Brisbane

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