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Bates Smart condemns Sydney stadium plans, talks of upcoming "renaissance" in urban renewal

By Andrew Manns    25 Sep 2018
A rendering of the proposed design for the new Sydney Allianz football stadium / courtesy of Bates Smart

Philip Vivian, director of the multidisciplinary design firm Bates Smart, has criticised plans by the Australian government to demolish and rebuild Sydney's Allianz football stadium at Moore Park.

In November 2017, the government announced it would spend AU$2.7bn (£1.5bn) to demolish and rebuild two of Sydney’s major stadiums. In March 2018, it was decided that Sydney's Allianz would be the only site to be rebuilt.

In a statement, Vivian responded to the plans and argued that the AU$981m (£541m) refurbishment, which would keep the building on the outskirts of the city, would be a counterproductive expenditure, working to the detriment of residents.

Citing the Roman Coliseum as an example of how "the ancients" incorporated structures into their social fabric as spaces for public spectacles, the director said that modern stadiums contrarily became “mono-functional objects, isolated on the periphery of the city and surrounded by car parking”.

Adding that a “renaissance is underway”, Vivian said that stadiums are catalysts of urban renewal, and as such, should be re-integrated into the city’s fabric as accessible anchors for entertainment districts.

Bates Smart, which has a record of re-imagining public spaces as places to stimulate community engagement, has proposed an alternate plan which would escalate urban renewal and optimise public transport.

Vivian said: "We propose that Moore Park Stadium’s replacement be built over Central Station’s railyard; creating the benefits of public transport accessibility, catalysing the development of the railyards to connect Surry Hills to Chippendale, and having broader economic benefits for the state, the city and surrounding neighbourhoods.”

The winner of the competition for the rebuilding of the attraction will be announced in October.

Bates Smart  Philip Vivian  Sydney Stadium  Moore Park 
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