Work on the construction of AAMI Park began in 2007. Such was the ground breaking nature of Cox Architects' design, the project presented quite a challenge for Major Projects Victoria, Arup (main engineers) and builders Grocon, in addition to a number of other contractors.
In March 2009 an open day, hosted by Major Projects Victoria and Grocon, gave the project’s key stakeholders, contractors and tenants a unique opportunity to see the progression of work inside AAMI Park. Members of peak bodies in the design and construction industry also attended.
By June a noticeable aesthetic advancement took place with the first of the roof panels being added to south east corner of the bio-frame.
Come August eleven of the 20 roof 'shells' had been completed with another four well on the way. Heading west along Olympic Blvd, the scale of the project was fully apparent with the eastern side's roof structure virtually complete.
As most of the eastern side's roof panels had been affixed by November, giving passers-by a closer indication of the finished structure, the grass for the pitch was growing in Pakenham for transportation to the stadium in January 2010.
In March Australian insurance company AAMI was secured as naming rights partner for an 8 year term. What had been so far referred to as the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium was to be known as ‘AAMI Park’. The Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, James Merlino, announced the agreement at a press conference at the Stadium. With the turf laid, posts in place and seats proliferating the terraces, the computer generated images were fast becoming reality.
Whilst the Stadium was nearing completion in April, with the final panels being attached to the roof and scaffold supports removed on the western side, the first event on 7 May (an Australia v New Zealand rugby league test) loomed large on the calendar. Roof guttering and LED lighting were the last pieces of the jigsaw, along with the finishing touches and internal fit-out. Fortunately for the sell out crowd, among many others, the venue was ready just in the nick of time!
Perhaps the best way to truly grasp the complexity of the construction is by viewing the various construction time lapses (with thanks Major Projects Victoria)
Construction time lapse - internal (with thanks Major Projects Victoria)
Turf Laying (with thanks Major Projects Victoria)