NH Architecture + Populous appointed for Melbourne Park upgrade

Apr 20, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Major Projects Victoria has announced that local firm NH Architecture and international design practice Populous have won the tender for the Margaret Court Arena upgrade in Melbourne Park.

The project – also known as the Western Precinct project – will see the design team extend the seating capacity of Margaret Court, and adding a retractable roof to the arena. The project is part of the state government’s $363 million first stage redevelopment of Melbourne Park.

NH Architecture and Populous’ project will add an extra 1500 seats to the 23-year-old Margaret Court Arena, bringing seating capacity to 7500 and providing a third all-weather tennis venue for the Australian Open. The facility will additionally be used for netball and basketball.

The project is the next in a line of high profile Melbourne projects by NH Architecture, the architects behind the award-winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Hilton South Wharf (both joint ventures with Woods Bagot) and the recently completed Myer Redevelopment.

Populous, a global firm that specialises in sports arenas, has previously worked on the upgrade to Wimbledon tennis facilities in the UK and is also responsible for the Melbourne Park masterplan (in collaboration with Cox Architects.).

The other component to be developed as part of the $363 million first stage redevelopment is currently underway. Daryl Jackson’s firm Jackson Architecture is working with construction firm Watpac, Winward Structures and WSP Lincolne Scott on the Eastern Plaza project, which comprises 21 indoor and outdoor tennis courts together with a piazza-style public space.

Construction on the Western Precinct is expected to begin in mid 2012, with the first stage due to be operational in 2015.

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