A bubbly new soccer and rugby stadium is popping up in Melbourne that will feature a highly engineered exterior structure combined with many sustainable features. Designed by Cox Architects, the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is a marvel of architecture and engineering with it’s bubble-like facade inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. Construction is fully underway, allowing a glimpse into how the cantilevered structure is being put together.
When completed in 2010, the stadium will seat 30,000 spectators as they watch both the Melbourne Victory Soccer Team and the Melbourne Storm Rugby Club. The stadium will also house a sports medicine facility and many administrative offices for the city’s sports organizations. The stadium’s design was inspired by the geodesic dome and it features a unique cantilever design that provides shelter for the spectators without inhibiting their view of the game below.
The structure’s roof is skinned with a triangular panelized facade that uses 50% less steel than a typical cantilevered roof structure. The envelope is currently composed of combination of glass, metal and louvres, and in the future the architects hope to integrate photovoltaic thin-film into the design. During construction scaffolding is in place to put the domes together and once completed the scaffolding can be taken off and the structure will support itself. The dome will be lit up by thousands of LED lights and also feature rainwater collection, natural lighting, and natural ventilation.