Canterbury Arena initial designs approved



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New Zealand Christchurch stadium preliminary design Image: Christchurch City Council

Preliminary designs for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (Christchurch, New Zealand) have been approved, clearing the way for work to begin on the next phase of the design development.

The ‘Christchurch City Council’ quoted Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel as stating, “We are delighted with the preliminary designs for the arena and feel confident that we are on track to having a world-class arena in the heart of our City. Today (January 27th) we have instructed the Kōtui consortium to begin work on the developed design for the arena. Once the developed design phase is completed, we will then be in a position to approve a Design and Construction contract.”

Added Mayor Dalziel, “We are still working towards the goal of having early construction works on the site begin by April.”

The Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) is a multiuse sports arena to be built on land bordered by Hereford, Madras, Tuam, and Barbadoes streets in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Multi-Use Arena is designed as a replacement for Lancaster Park which got damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and subsequently demolished in 2019.

The versatile multiuse venue will seat 30,000 fans in sporting stadium mode and 37,800 in concert configuration, all protected from the elements by the fully covered transparent roof.

The Christchurch City Council is the local Government authority for Christchurch in New Zealand. It is a territorial authority elected to represent the 392,100 people of Christchurch. Since October 2013, the Mayor of Christchurch is Lianne Dalziel, who succeeded Bob Parker.

The ‘Christchurch City Council’ further stated that four preliminary design images for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena were released before Christmas.

On January 27th, three more preliminary design images were released, showing the scale and size of the arena in the context of the central City.

To see all the designs, click here.

The images were created by Christchurch-based architects Warren & Mahoney and international stadium design experts Populous, who are part of the Kōtui consortium.

Continued Mayor Dalziel, “It’s clear that the Kōtui consortium, the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) Board and the Council staff have left no stone unturned in their commitment to deliver a preliminary design that will be the pride and joy of Cantuarians during a challenging time globally.”

At the meeting held on January 27th, the Council also approved a new name – Te Kaha – for the half-a-billion-dollar facility.

Te Kaha is a shortened version of Te Kaharoa (meaning ‘enduring strength’), which is the name that Ngāi Tūāhuriri gifted to the land bounded by Madras, Hereford, Barbadoes, and Tuam streets.

The CMUA Project Delivery Limited Board Chair Barry Bragg welcomed the Council’s approvals, saying the project has taken a crucial step and the teams are now able to progress to the next design phase, including looking at how the cultural narrative can be blended into both the precinct and the arena.

Added Bragg, “Te Kaha is going to be a magnificent asset, not only for Christchurch and Canterbury, but for all of New Zealand. With the preliminary design and new name now approved, we can begin those important conversations on how we incorporate the cultural narrative and the name, Te Kaha, into the design of the physical structure.”

The venue will include a total 250 meter of food and beverage outlets, a function lounge with a large terrace overlooking the field, 23 corporate boxes, increased user experience for people with disabilities, and a premium general area in the Western stand.

With the closest of the 30,000 seats just six meters from the field of play, and an average seating bowl angle of 33.5 degrees, Bragg stated that the Kōtui consortium has placed a heavy emphasis on ensuring the arena maximizes the patron experience.

Large roller doors at the Northern end of the arena will enable concert and festival crews’ easy access to a large concrete staging area. When not used by musical acts, the stage will be able to hold 5,000 temporary seats.

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