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Client: Office of Strategic Projects, WA
Total Project Value: $548M

2013 AIA (National)
Sir Zelman Cowen Award - Public Architecture

Emil Sodersten Award - Interior Architecture

2013 AIA (wa Chapter)

George Temple Poole Award

Jeffrey Howlett Award - Public architecture
Interior Architecture Award
Colorbond Award - Steel Architecture

2013 World Architecture Festival
Shortlist - sports stadium category











'This is an iconic venue for Perth ...
the Arena is a work of art.'

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett




Our architectural strategy for the Perth Arena was simple: provide a core multi-functional arena without compromise and then surround it with variable circulation and a striking configuration. Most venues of this type provide continuous repetitive spaces around the core function. We have explored this building typology another way. Instead of a singular facade we have created extreme variability, giving the building a different face from every angle. Whether approaching from the elevated freeway to the west, the grand boulevard to the south, the railway lines on the north or new urban developments to the east, every facade presents a new dynamic.

The striking design was inspired by the 12-sided Round House in Fremantle and the 209 irregular shaped pieces of Christopher Monckton's Eternity Puzzle. The luminous Yves Klein blue facade continues through the interior and is complemented by vast, light-filled spaces and warm timber panelling.

Perth Arena features a retractable roof that can open in seven minutes allowing natural light to flood the centre court. It also features five multi-purpose event rooms, half a dozen food and beverage outlets, state of the art acoustics, function spaces, corporate hospitality suites, cafes and a basement car park. The stadium has a very flexible design, allowing for crowds of up to 12,000 in concert mode and up to 15,500 in tennis mode. Alternatively, the Arena can be closed down for an intimate concert with 3,000 people. The stadium can accommodate shows with a centre stage or end stage and performances in the round such as motocross, equestrian and ice shows.


'This landmark building has been designed to provoke symbolic interpretation, create direct visual responses from all approaches, and become an integral part of the city’s overall urban design and architectural strategy.'

design director Howard Raggatt



Achieving sustainability best practice was a key brief requirement of this project and was addressed by early stakeholder engagement to agree on the key sustainability features to be adopted. Sustainable features include mixed mode natural ventilation to public concourses, low energy displacement air conditioning system (providing a 109kw saving 150T/Co2 PA), photo voltaic (solar) array on the roof, WELLS-rated fixtures and fittings and waterless urinals, locally sourced materials (e.g. West Australian granite for the entry foyers) and a water sensitive landscape design.
Displacement air conditioning for the bowl, which delivers low velocity air directly to patrons through a seating plenum, rather than the more traditional but less efficient top down approach, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the HVAC system by 60%, when compared to a mixed overhead system.

Mixed-mode concourse air conditioning controlled by the building automation system is estimated to save an additional 127 tonnes of Co2 emissions annually. It features mixed mode concourse ventilation, controlled natural ventilation, and 'top up' mode (spill air from bowl diverted to concourse).

ARM and CCN provided advice to the client on artist selection and were involved in reviews of the final design. Six years in the making, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman’s 'Totem' draws on sophisticated robotics and schoolyard origami to make a memorable piece of public art. Its moving panels are programmed to open and close like flower petals in response to people walking past and it shoots geometric laser projections onto the wall of the Arena at night. 'Totem' has affectionately become known as the 'Perth Pineapple'.





Photography by Peter Bennetts,