Perth Arena: A giant puzzle of 3D architecture

Perth Arena: A giant puzzle of 3D architecture

Architect
ARM Architecture
Location
Perth, Australia
Category
Towns

Stadiums

Theaters
Stories By
Reynaers Aluminium

ARM Architecture
Stephen Nicholls

Perth Arena: A giant puzzle of 3D architecture

Reynaers Aluminium as Facade system

Perth Arena: A giant puzzle of 3D architecture

The design of Perth Arena is based on Christopher Monckton’s Eternity Puzzle, a puzzle filling an almost regular dodecagon (polygon with twelve sides and twelve angles) with 209 irregularly-shaped smaller polygon pieces. The architects designed an impressive, flexible concert venue and sporting events stadium.

Located in the city centre, the new 28.000 square metre arena replaces Perth Entertainment Centre as the first phase of a 13.5-hectare urban renewal project. Opening last November, the building has become home to the Perth basketball team, the Wildcats, and the international tennis tournament, the Hopman Cup.

Unique façades.

Whether viewed from the grand boulevard to the south or from the elevated freeway to the west, the building has been designed so that no façade or entrance can be seen as more important than another. Instead, the building is defined by nine unique façades, which take the form of interconnecting polygons that fold over and overlap each other.

Lightweight aesthetic elements.

Reynaers created a bespoke solution based on the CW 50 Structurally Clamped Curtain Wall range. The glazing has been adapted to a non-standard shape with parallel sashes to integrate seamlessly into the overall triangular cladding system. The design can withstand all wind loads, thermal movements, structural movements, and system loads imposed by the building’s diagonal transoms. Inside, the windows are the connecting device between outdoors and indoors. The variously angled glazing frames that merge with the patterns on the exterior are picked up and continued in alternative directions.

And as if the building’s structure and aesthetics were not ambitious enough, Perth Arena also has a strong environmental agenda with mixed-mode natural ventilation, low-energy displacement air conditioning, and photovoltaic arrays on the roof. With U-values of approximately 1.5 and an SHGC ranging from 0.23 to 0.6, the CW 50 system fulfils these ambitions. The building has also been recognised for its bespoke windows by the Australian Window Association by means of the ‘Best Use of Windows and Doors Commercial – New Construction’ award.

Location: Perth, Australia Photography: Stephen Nicholls Reynaers’ systems: bespoke solution based on CW 50-SC

Perth Arena

ARM Architecture as Architects

The Perth Arena, completed in 2012 by Joint Venture Architects ARM Architecture and Cameron Chisholm Nicol, is like the ancient Greek myth of the Trojan Horse – an object of desire, dragged into great triumph and allowed to bring its rampage of entertainment with it. With 15,000 seats, an operable roof, 36 VIP super-boxes, five major multi-purpose event rooms, half a dozen food and beverage outlets and a 700 space basement carpark, the Perth Arena is a stand-alone entertainment extravaganza for the City.


The innovative design was partly inspired by the twelve sided Round House in Fremantle, Western Australia’s oldest public building. We hoped to achieve a resonance between the Round House and what was to become Perth’s newest public building.This 12-sided icon also reminded us of Renaissance visions for the Ideal City, a crystalline reality of mathematical proportions and divine harmony. This sense of not only a building but also the whole city became our quest. For us it was Christopher Monckton's impossible Eternity Puzzle that brought these local and global themes together – the 12-sided building and the Ideal City.With 209 different pieces, each consisting of 12 triangles, the Eternity Puzzle combined both the mathematics of the Renaissance and the wonderful physicality of the Round House.This landmark building has been designed to provoke symbolic interpretation, create direct visual responses from all approaches, and become an integral part of the City’s overall urban design.


Our architectural approach was simple: to provide a core multi-functional arena without compromise and then surround it with variable circulation and a striking configuration. Instead of a singular façade, we created extreme variability, giving the building a different face from every angle. Whether approaching from the grand boulevard to the south, the railway lines on the north, the elevated freeway to the west or new urban developments to the east, every façade presents a new dynamic.


It is the interior, especially the entrance and great public concourses, which best express our vision for the building. The Perth Arena interior is inspired by the whole experience of a public building and especially the experience of looking out to the city. Perth Arena features a retractable roof that can open in seven minutes, allowing natural light to flood the centre court. The stadium has a flexible design, allowing for crowds of up to 15,000 in general admission concert mode and up to 14,000 in tennis mode. Alternatively, the Arena can be closed down for an intimate concert with 3,000 people.

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