“Our ambition for an innovative structure is not merely a multipurpose facility, but a structure that achieves an astonishing self-equilibrium while maintaining the beauty of origami.”
The development of the new Parramatta Stadium with plus 30,000 seats was driven by into engineering precedents; Pier Luigi Nervi’s branching columns in the Palazzetto Dello Sport (Italy) and Felix Candela’s Hypar Fan Shells (Mexico). These were analysed in depth through analogue models as an investigation into form-force relationships. By means of digital models and scripts, and continued cross-checks between form studies, the project tested the boundaries of structural possibilities for long-span, cantilevering columns in combination with the finely pleated roof structure that together with sub-elements provide a careful equilibrium. This structural system consists of three major elements; the primary structure of 34 ‘leaning’ or inclined columns, which are with shifting in the centre of gravity yet counter-balanced by an attached opposing branches. The secondary structure contains the lightweight tessellation of a truss system supporting the origami roof; and the tertiary structure includes structural slab, loading beam and a network of tensioning cable for stabilisation and counterbalance purposes.