- Article by Online Editor
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Major Projects Victoria has unveiled the concept design for the Eastern Plaza at Melbourne Park, which will provide a state-of-the-art tennis centre as part of the state government’s multi-million dollar upgrade to the Park’s tennis facilities.
The Eastern Plaza forms “a vital part” of the $363 million redevelopment of Melbourne Park, which the Victorian Government believes will be instrumental in ensuring the Australian Open continues to be held in Melbourne.
The design by Daryl Jackson’s firm, Jackson Architecture, comprises eight indoor and thirteen outdoor courts along with warm-up areas and facilities for elite players. A piazza-style public space will be connected to neighbouring sports facilities AAMI Park and the MCG by a footbridge, while the western entrance to Hisense Arena will be upgraded.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, and Major Projects Victoria’s Denis Napthine unveiled the latest design at the Australian Open. Delahunty said the proposal’s “fresh, light and functional design really sets the scene for the entire redevelopment”.
Napthine added that the facilities would be available to the public as well as elite players: “[The] Eastern Plaza will provide world-class training facilities for tennis stars, as well as providing a venue for Tennis Australia’s young player development programs. Members of the public will be able to hire courts and enjoy this latest addition to our world-beating sports precinct.”
The second component of Stage One, called the Western Precinct, will encompass an additional 1500 seats and a retractable roof for Margaret Court Arena along with upgrades to Rod Laver Arena. An architecture firm has not yet been selected for the Western Precinct.
Jackson Architecture is working together with construction firm Watpac, Winward Structures and WSP Lincolne Scott on the Eastern Plaza project. Work is expected to begin in early 2011, with Stage One of the Melbourne Park redevelopment due for completion in time for the 2015 Australian Open.