The celebrated architect behind the Sydney Football Stadium, Philip Cox, believes it is still “one of the great stadiums of the world” and considers plans to demolish it shows “a certain philistinism” in NSW.
While largely staying out of the furious debate about the future of Sydney’s stadiums, Mr Cox said he had come to terms with the Berejiklian government’s decision to demolish the Moore Park venue early in the new year.
“I can’t be anything else when the powers that be say the stadium is to go,” he said.
“That’s happening. Although I can put up an historic case and say that from an architectural viewpoint this building is of significance and it’s recognised as one of the great stadiums of the world.
“That’s a fact. It is. It will be replaced by something that’s very different. Very different.”
After winning approval from the Department of Planning and Environment to begin demolition of what is also known as Allianz Stadium, the government indicated last Friday that it had signed a contract with Lendlease to demolish the stadium and build a new one for $730 million.
That set the stage for a brawl ahead of the March election over plans for new sporting infrastructure.
Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said the new stadium would set a new standard for fan experience in Australia.
“It will kick Melbourne to the kerb and punt Brisbane to reserve grade,” he said.
Labor leader Michael Daley, who opposes construction of a new stadium, has questioned whether the government had signed a binding construction contract with Lendlease.
“Don’t knock this thing down now,” he said. “Wait until the election.”
Mr Cox, 79, is the acclaimed architect behind the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre and Rod Laver Arena.
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