Articles Work begins on site to realise civic-focused design vision for Marvel Stadium

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula and AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan were on site today to celebrate the commencement of major works for the Marvel Stadium Upgrade →.

Designed for the Australian Football League (AFL), the Marvel Stadium Upgrade will improve the fan experience while further activating urban connections and the public realm within the broader Docklands precinct in Melbourne, Victoria.

John Holland Group, one of Australia’s leading construction firms, is undertaking the work to upgrade the Stadium, which is one of Victoria’s most important major events venues.

The design, led by Grimshaw, and in collaboration with sports architecture firm, Smartform, amplifies the capability and connectivity of the stadium. This is achieved through the adaptation of the stadium’s southern and eastern edges to create significant civic-focused places, such as a new Town Square and City Edge.

The Town Square provides an active and public entry space that breaks down the existing solid southern edge of Marvel Stadium to directly connect the field of play with the broader stadium precinct.

This new, permeable edge is carefully refurbished and includes outdoor recreation spaces that may be used throughout the year to not only enhance the stadium’s sports event functionality but also its civic offering in non-game mode.

Overlooking Wurundjeri Way, an arterial road that separates the Docklands precinct from the western edge of Melbourne’s CBD, the City Edge seeks to celebrate the stadium as a cultural destination, creating a more dynamic, and also functional, entry experience.

Building on the existing functional planning of the stadium to create an enticing and rich interior experience, layers of new program have been carefully inserted across multiple levels and are complemented by upgrades to key existing infrastructure and amenities.

To celebrate Marvel Stadium’s unique city location, each level is linked by a large, flexible daylit atrium that offers views of the stadium against the backdrop of Melbourne’s cityscape. As a dynamic space that offers connection to the outdoors while providing protection against the elements, the atrium is set to become a catalyst for Marvel Stadium’s reinvention as a civic-focussed sports and entertainment venue.

The $225 million project is funded by the Victorian Government as part of its State-AFL Funding and Commitment Deed, and is scheduled for completion in late 2023.

“Working closely with the AFL, we have re-visioned Marvel Stadium as a civic-focused events destination with a new engaging arrival experience and improved city connections. This new identity will not only be a gamechanger for spectators on game day but also for the broader Docklands precinct, every day.”

Neil Stonell, Managing Partner, Grimshaw