Geelong’s loss to Adelaide in last year’s AFL preliminary final was heart breaking for the club and fans alike. However, 2017 also marked a great win for the Geelong Football Club with the unveiling of the new GMHBA stadium, which employs Viridian Glass to give patrons a remarkable sporting experience.
The design brief
The stadium needed to reflect the Geelong Football Club and the broader Geelong community. In this regard, it certainly kicks some goals. The design creates a permeability between the parkland setting and pitch, whilst successfully engaging its fans.
But the relevance of the ground also goes beyond AFL. It is designed to integrate other sporting and community groups – providing a place where members of the Geelong community can have access to unrivalled faculties.
Glass performance was essential
Architect Brayden Goodwin, from global sports architecture and design specialists, Populous Architects, said one of the of the key drivers in the design was having glass that allowed good permeability and excellent viewing. He wanted people in the Social Club and Member’s Bar to have seamless view of the pitch. To meet this objective, VFloat SuperClear was used, because it’s high clarity glass that provides crystal clear and colour-true views.
Having such an extensive glass façade in a stadium would not have been possible in the past due to a lack of energy efficiency – but recent technology has broadened how glass is used in large scale designs and is the reason many of the facilities at the stadium are possible.
“That ability to use performance glass and the technology that’s been developed for these types of facilities has been fantastic and a great outcome,” Brayden Goodwin said.
Glass is also used as a cohesive element within the stadium itself. There are different levels within GMHBA and glass is used connect them with the key spaces, so people feel part of the action no matter where they are.
World-first fan portal
As well as spaces you traditionally associate with stadiums, such as cafes, retailers and function rooms, GMHBA offers something unique – the fan portal. Arguably the greatest feature of the new stadium, this 45-square metre glass floor overlooking the warm up area gives punters a rare glimpse into the preparation players go through before heading out on the field. Made from Viridian DecorFloor custom laminate glass, the portal is a world-first and could herald in a series of similar designs across the country.
The design of the new GMHBA stadium is no clanger. It’s a big win by Populous Architects, who have successfully produced a space where fans can have an amazing experience, whilst not excluding the needs of the wider community.