Hand on heart – we did not see this coming. But we respect the verdict regardless, especially that all four Jurors were very pleased with this particular candidate. Just short of first place, Bankwest Stadium!
One member of the Jury told us that he feels weird voting for his competition's work but it's so good there's nothing else left to do. These words about Bankwest Stadium first came as a surprise for us, but later it turned out that all four members feel quite the same – it's simply one of the very best stadia opened in 2019 and strong contender for Stadium of the Year.
While Populous have designed many widely praised stadia worldwide, they still managed to create something quite unseen here, in western Sydney. The aesthetics of this stadium is somewhat turned upside down: what is usually hidden by architects, here is exposed – the steel and concrete support structure becomes the main visual strength. Meanwhile, the roof's membrane landed on the bottom of the girders rather than on top. This allowed it to become the illuminated part, also a boost for acoustics inside.
We're not done. The seating bowl offers as good conditions to watch football (and rugby) as possible. Steep stands, proximity to the field, extensive hospitality offer and great attention to family-friendliness (including playground along the east stand) are the features that make this stadium great for fanatics, businesspeople and families alike!