Multipurpose Addington 'city' proposed

CONCEPT: A graphic showing Ken Taylor's multipurpose stadium, which he says is more like a city.
CONCEPT: A graphic showing Ken Taylor's multipurpose stadium, which he says is more like a city.

A Christchurch architectural designer is calling for a major sporting, retail, residential and office complex to be built in Addington on the Rugby League Park site.

Concept promoter Ken Taylor said a multipurpose covered stadium would be the centrepiece but his design was "more than a stadium, it's a city – Addington City".

He said it was time to look at "possible alternatives, even if only as a contingency" with question marks over the future of AMI and QEII stadiums after both suffered liquefaction damage in the Christchurch earthquakes.

Taylor is proposing the Christchurch City Council relocate AMI Stadium to the Rugby League Park site in Addington, "where there is also room adjacent for the QEII facility and even the Christchurch Convention Centre, if necessary".

He said Addington was an ideal location because "the site is free from liquefaction". It would also allow the city's major entertainment, sporting and cultural facilities to be located on one site.

Taylor said the Addington site was close to the city centre with good road access and plenty of parking and the council owned most of the land, except Addington Raceway.

His concept calls for a 30,000-seat stadium "taking the best of the Cake Tin (Westpac Stadium) in Wellington and Forsyth Barr in Dunedin".

It would be "covered for weather protection, elliptical to give best views to all spectators and have two levels of seating "at a reasonable raking angle" to allow patrons to be "close to the action without getting vertigo".

He said the stadium could cater for rugby union, rugby league, football and other field sports – and with a slight enlargement from the concept drawing – also feature an indoor athletics and "even cricket".

"Large-scale events such as Elton John can be handled with a large population base to draw from, and without the transportation/accommodation problems for distant visitors that Dunedin faces."

Taylor said his concept would equate to "very attractive real estate with nine floors and 100,000sqm of space with sun and 360-degree views across the city". It could be used for residential, commercial, life care, hotel and education facilities. The ground floor would have a shopping mall "the size of Eastgate".

Taylor estimated the stadium cost at between $250 million and $270m – "as it would be bigger than Forsyth Barr stadium".

He acknowledged capital and running costs were one of the major problems of building stadiums but said the solution would be to put "building construction around the outside of the stadium".

"This can be sold or leased to defray the building cost, and let the building partially pay for itself.

"This development can be built in phases to match demand, and could return around $80 million profit to contribute to the cost of the stadium proper," said Taylor, who claimed he had "figures to back this".

The stadium complex could be made earthquake-resistant by using steel framing, "which is lighter than concrete and more ductile with properly designed joints and base isolators."

The design would be eco-friendly with "passive solar gain, green walls, balconies with overhangs to keep rain and summer sun at bay, low external wall to floor ratio to reduce wall heat loss, and centralised services.

"It's even got a roof garden with walking path."

Taylor said there would be room to re-create the QEII wave and lap pools and the present sports complex "less the grandstand to the eastern side".

There would be room on the old Canterbury Court site near Rugby League Park to construct a building "the same size as the Convention Centre in Kilmore St".

"All the above can happen without touching Addington Raceway."

But Taylor said if Addington Raceway relocated to Riccarton and shared facilities with the Canterbury Jockey Club, the QEII outdoor track, football field and cricket ground could be reconstituted, using the existing Addington Raceway grandstands.

"There would still be room for a Porritt Park for hockey and a couple of spare sports fields," he said.

The Press