Case Study

Optus StadiumMassive LED Lighting System and Specially-Made Roof Provide a Home for Both Sports and Non-Sports Enthusiasts

Perth, Australia

Design Architect: Architectural Association: Cox Architecture and Hassell Studio

The Challenge

To design a stadium that meets the dual goal of serving as a multipurpose modern sports facility as well as a useful destination for citizens and non-sporting activities.

The Design Solution

Optus Stadium is home to both the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers of the Australian Rules Football League. Designers used anodized aluminum on the stadium’s bronze façade to reflect the special geology of Western Australia by day, and a 15,000-light LED system at night that can highlight the team colors of either the Eagles or the Dockers. The pitch is oval-shaped to accommodate cricket matches in addition to other types of sporting events. Designers also lowered the seating bowl to give fans exceptional views and bring them closer to the action on the field. The structure’s lightweight fabric roof, created specifically for the stadium, provides shelter to 85 percent of the facility’s 60,000-seats. The project’s responsible design not only celebrates the six seasons recognized by Australia’s indigenous community, it also includes a network of walking and cycling trails, as well as playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk for use by the public. HKS is part of the WESTADIUM consortium that includes Hassell Studio and Cox Architecture.

The Design Impact

Optus Stadium will host a variety of events including cricket and soccer matches and major concerts, in addition to Australian Rules Football contests. Non-sports enthusiasts who come to the area around the stadium will have access to an amphitheater, children’s playgrounds and picnic areas. Disabled fans were kept in mind throughout the design process and there are wheelchairs positions at every level and more than 70 universally accessible toilets throughout the facility.

Project Features

  • 60,000 seats
  • 15,000-light LED system
  • Natural couch grass mixed with rye and artificial grass playing surface
  • Flexible warm-up and recovery areas


  • 2019 World's Most Beautiful Stadium, Prix Versailles
  • 2018 Western Australia Architecture Awards, Jeffrey Howlett Award for Public Architecture
  • 2018 Western Australia Architecture Awards, The Wallace Greenham Award for Sustainable Architecture