Architects question plans to demolish stadiums

The Australian Institute of Architects has questioned the recent announcement by the NSW Government to demolish the Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park and the Olympic Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park to make way for new stadiums with similar spectator capacities.

‘The Sydney Football Stadium is barely 30 years old, while the Olympic Stadium is less than 20 years old,’ NSW Chapter President Andrew Nimmo said today.

‘When our major public buildings don’t last thirty years, we have a real problem. These are places where some of the greatest memories of modern Sydney were made, places where Sydney was elevated to the world stage.

‘To demolish, rather than refurbish, seems like an extraordinary waste.

‘These stadiums are buildings that should live for at least 50 to 100 years. We are doing something wrong as a society if we apply a throwaway mentality to assets that are still so relatively young.
‘It is not unreasonable to expect that it is time that both stadiums undergo significant upgrades to keep them commercially viable in the competitive world of major sporting events.

‘However, best practice, environmentally sustainable development will acknowledge the embodied energy contained in each of these structures – not only the metal, the concrete, the human hours of toil, but also the embodied memory that is locked up in each of these stadiums. All of this needs to
be taken into account when considering the business case.

‘Great cities are made up of many layers of built fabric. We cannot wipe the slate of history clean every 20 years. The loss of these buildings would be like losing a major landmark from the horizon.’