COX Architecture has been at the forefront of sports architecture design for over 40 years and was one of the first design firms in the world to see the value of architectural structural expression as a defining form for stadia and sports buildings, a tradition that has continued to this day.
Our projects demonstrate our dedication to research and development as well as our ability to work with our clients to deliver successful design solutions on time and budget. Since 1984 when Philip Cox, founder of the practice, was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, COX Architecture has continued to deliver exemplary architecture and interior design that reflects the culture of the city, region and community.
COX Architecture is a leader of sports architecture with major sport projects in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. We have extensive experience in designing Olympic facilities as well as other major events including:
- Asian Games,
- Commonwealth Games,
- FIFA World Cup,
- Rugby World Cup, and
- Cricket World Cup.
We are also experts in the redevelopment and refurbishment of existing major sports facilities, as demonstrated by our recent work for Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground and Adelaide Oval.
COX Architecture is an award-winning practice with numerous international awards for sports architecture including the World’s Most Culturally Significant and Iconic Stadium World Stadium Congress Award, 2012 for AAMI Park stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Our events facility experience includes major state-of-the-art convention and exhibition centres such as Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Singapore EXPO, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and Expansion, and Sydney International Convention and Exhibition Centre. We have recently completed convention and exhibition centres in Jakarta, Indonesia and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, while a large centre is under construction in Hyderabad, India.
Designing for state-of-the-art technology and flexibility in venues, our work in convention centre design has seen these buildings transformed into Olympic venues for weightlifting, boxing, fencing and wrestling, offering host cities a sustainable and efficient approach to Olympic Games mode.
Our Sports Architecture team is led by Alastair Richardson, one of Australia’s leading sport architects and recognised leader of architectural development in this field. Our team includes leading sport architects who have extensive experience in Olympic facility design from Sydney to London, as well as major event bids such as the FIFA World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
COX Architecture is responsible for the design and delivery of more venues for the Sydney 2000 Olympics than any other architectural firm. We were part of the original bid process for Homebush Bay Master Plan and subsequently appointed as the architects for the Athletics Training Venues, Aquatic Centre, Baseball Stadium and Main Indoor Arena (now Allphones Arena) at the main Olympic site. In addition, we were the architects for the Sydney Football Stadium (soccer), Convention and Exhibition Centre (wrestling, boxing, fencing and weightlifting), Blacktown Olympic Park (softball and baseball) and Newington Olympic Village (the athletes village). A key part of the success of these Olympic venues has been their legacy, with all venues used extensively as community, professional sport and residential precincts post-Olympics.
Following our success for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, COX Architecture was appointed as the architects for the sailing venues at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In addition to our company’s success, key members of our team bring extensive experience in the bid and delivery stages of Olympic facilities. Alastair Richardson, Director of Sport, worked extensively on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Our event design experience extends to major venues for the South East Asian Games in Bangkok and the Asian Games Doha, Qatar. We recently completed the Lusail Multipurpose Hall for the 2015 World Handball Championships and are currently working on the first of the FIFA World Cup stadiums in Doha, Qatar.
COX Architecture was part of the team for Australia’s 2022 FIFA World Cup bid which relied heavily on the use of existing venues and the assessment of the venues to meet current FIFA standards. This process allowed us to review all of Australia’s major stadia for compliance with the current FIFA Standards and prepare feasibility studies for the upgrades of the facilities to meet the requirements while maintaining the venues in operation and minimising the impact of the event on the operational viability of the stadia.
Much of this work was used for Australia’s successful bid for the 2015 FIFA Asian Federation Cup.
A key consideration of any Olympic Games is the legacy and use of the facilities once the Games have left.
Our track record in the development of legacy solutions for Olympic facilities is proven by the facilities we designed for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The facilities have continued to operate for the benefits of the community and sport, with little or no government support. This has led to sustainable developments that are valued by the community and sporting public alike. Recently, our Allphones Arena was named the fourth most successful venue in the world!
In Melbourne, our work for the 2006 Commonwealth Games was focused on the legacy of the venues. The main stadium for the Commonwealth Games, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was refurbished and redeveloped for the Commonwealth Games to provide a 100,000-capacity stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events. The legacy of the Melbourne Cricket Ground was ensured through careful overlay design so that the ground’s traditional tenants, Cricket and Australian Football, could continue to use the refurbished stadium unencumbered by the athletics track.
We have an intimate understanding of the importance of legacy and sport infrastructure planning to create sports cities. COX Architecture is proud to be associated with Melbourne and Sydney’s continued success in the annual Sports Business Sports Cities of the Year award, as demonstrated by the 2012 Sports Business Cities of the Year Awards for which Melbourne was ranked second and Sydney third.
Through the need to consider legacy as one of the primary objectives of the Olympic Games, we understand the need to ensure that existing facilities can be utilised where possible through refurbishment and expansion to meet the IOC’s and International Federation’s technical requirements. Our recent work on major stadia has focused on redevelopments to meet the requirements of major events such as the 2020 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup while retaining an operational venue and maximising the legacy opportunity for the tenants.
In 2014 we completed Australia’s largest stadium redevelopment, the AUD $450 million redevelopment of Adelaide Oval for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and the relocation of the two major Australian Football teams to the venue. This redevelopment builds on existing infrastructure to deliver a world-class venue designed to maximise the fan and athlete experience whilst ensuring that an overlay can be developed for major events.
The basis of our stadia redevelopments has evolved through a detailed venue master plan and staging program that shows Governments and owners the redevelopment capital expenditure over 10 years.
Our current master plan for Sydney’s central sports precinct at Moore Park envisages the redevelopment and refurbishment of two of the city’s existing venues over a 10 year period and the development of a sports campus to provide home-ground training and administration facilities for five teams as well as headquarters for national sports bodies. This campus concept allows the sports precinct to have activity 365 days a year and create a centre of excellence for all professional sports in Sydney. This work feeds off the experience we have gained working as architects and planners for the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust for over 25 years.
The most recent major sporting event in Melbourne was the 2006 Commonwealth Games. This event led to the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground with a new 54,000-seat stand developed to allow for the overlay for the Games as well as new facilities for the major sports of Cricket and Australian Football. The new Northern Stand has been a great success and has set the standard for all stadia in Australia. COX Architecture has since been commissioned and completed the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s Great Southern Stand, which provides significant improvements for fans and doubles revenue generation through new food courts, bars and restaurants.
Overlay planning is integral to the success of one-off major events and post-event sustainability of venues and their cities.
Our team’s experience in overlay planning allows us to understand the needs of the IOC and the International Federations when evaluating the ability for existing and temporary venues to host an Olympic Games event. This experience is available to support Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games bid through dedicated resources on the ground in Tokyo.
We are leaders in the integration of technology and architecture to deliver truly flexible, multi-functional sport venues Our understanding of the changing face of technology and how sports fans use it, has led us to develop new design and visualisation tools that create interactive virtual environments that can be used as part of the bidding process and as a unique tool to interact with sporting fans across the globe.
The development of the virtual stadium model and its associated interface would allow Tokyo 2020 to engage with fans and spectators in a fully immersive, technologically smart, mobile environment.
The process we have researched and are currently developing for Adelaide Oval creates a fully immersive virtual environment that offers fans, sponsors and staff the ability to experience the stadium in the virtual world using mobile gaming technology. The interface uses iPad, G4 phones, internet or Android devices to provide a truly global interactive sports experience.