The Institution of Structural Engineers (ISE) has recognized Adelaide Oval, engineered by Arup, as this year’s best sports and leisure stadium structure.

The Adelaide Oval redevelopment has transformed this aging venue into a modern, 52,000 seat stadium, increasing capacity by 50 per cent and providing new roofs over the Southern and Eastern pavilions.

State of the art design technologies have been utilised to deliver two new grandstands rising above a shared podium and basement. Seating in the new stadium is protected from the rain and sun under a 140-metre wide ‘steel diagrid’ roof shell, providing column-free viewing to the playing surface, the north mound fig trees and North Adelaide. A glass balustrade at the rear provides a view south to the CBD.

The complex steel roof  and erection methodology of the single span solution meant the entire structure was supported both through the centreline of the roof line by a series of Slimshor towers as well as the front main truss of the structure by three Megashor towers until the last steel element was positioned and bolted prior to total roof de-jacking. All towers supplied were in the vicinity of 30 metres high.

The redevelopment also includes new and improved links and pedestrian connections to the surrounding precinct.

Described by Arup as a “true multi-sport venue,” the development provides a new field of play for both football and cricket, and improves spectator comfort. Arup’s Sports Field of Play team worked closely with the Adelaide Oval curator to design and document the reconstruction of the turf playing surface, including the controversial conversion from the permanent cricket wicket block to drop-in cricket wickets. The reconstructed oval now consisst of a flat turf playing surface and the profile will be capable of catering for storm events up to 100mm/hr without the loss of play.

In naming the venue the top sports stadium, the judges noted they “admired the engineering designers’ response to the unique challenges of this project: creating an elegant, lightweight, highly efficient and coherent response, integrating the new and existing elements within very tight spatial and programme constraints.”

The Structural Awards, organised each year by the ISE, celebrate innovation and excellence in the art and science of structural engineering, recognising projects from all over the world.

“We hold the Structural Awards annually to recognise outstanding work by structural engineers, and to raise awareness about the vital global role they play creating innovative design solutions,” said ISE chief executive Martin Powell.

“From skyscraper and bridge construction to heritage and home projects, this year’s Awards have showcased the full range of chartered structural engineers’ abilities – as trusted professionals, problem solvers, and the guardians of public safety. I congratulate all our winners on their achievements, and thank all those who entered.”

The stadium structure had already won the 2014 South Australian Engineering Excellence Award for Buildings and Structures and the Malcolm Kinnaird Engineering Excellence Award.