North Queensland Stadium


The Queensland government has announced a Cox Architecture-led team has won a competition to design the proposed North Queensland Stadium in Townsville. Cox Architecture will collaborate with local practice 9Point9 Architects for the project.

The design of the stadium features a roof form inspired by a native variety of the Pandanus plant. The roof will be resistant to cyclonic wind conditions and will cover 80 percent of the stadium’s 25,000 seats. The design also provides the stadium with the flexibility to expand its capacity to 30,000 seats in the future.

The stadium will have an open grassed terrace at the north end, which will allow views to the city and neighbouring Magnetic Island. It will also have a range of arrival plazas and landscaped greens.

“The stadium design is an expression of tropical Queensland and North Queensland in particular,” said Richard Coulson, project director at Cox Architecture. “It combines structural, functional and operational aspects of international modern stadiums with engagement of the environment that is quintessentially Queensland.”

The Cox Architecture-led team was selected following a two-stage competition for the stadium. The concept design was chosen over rival proposals from BVN, Hassell and Populous. Other local practices involved in the competition were Tippett Schrock Architects, Architects North, i4 Architecture and Stephen De Jersey Architect. Cox Architecture also produced an indicative stadium design for a 2013 feasibility study by KPMG.

The $250-million project will be the first to be delivered under the federal government’s City Deals scheme. It is jointly funded by the Queensland Government ($140 million), Australian Government ($100 million) and Townsville City Council (land and enabling infrastructure) and is supported by the National Rugby League ($10 million).

The stadium will be the new home of the North Queensland Cowboys rugby league team. Construction of the stadium is scheduled to start in mid-2017 and the project is due to be completed in time for the start of the 2020 NRL football season.

Local consultants for this project are 9point9 Architects, RPS, Douglas Partners, Ashburner Francis, Parker Hydraulics, Arup, and James Cook University.