Grimshaw Architects and Dublin-based Newenham Mulligan & Associates have won an international design competition for the £15 million overhaul of the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Arena in Ireland
The duo was ‘unanimously’ selected above four unnamed rivals to win the project south of Dublin City centre which will boost capacity at the multi-purpose venue from 18,500 to 25,000.
Known as the RDS Arena, the historic stadium in suburban Ballsbridge is home to both Leinster Rugby and the Dublin Horse Show.
The scheme is the second major sports venue victory in the last 12 months. In January 2014 the practice saw off finalists Foster + Partners and BDP to win the contest to redevelop the Curragh Racecourse (see AJ 31.01.14).
RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said: ‘Their winning concept represents an exciting design response to a complex brief. Entries had to accommodate professional rugby, world class equestrianism and music concerts, in an already very busy events venue.
‘These three elements were exceptionally well incorporated by the winning consortium who stood out for their understanding of the multi-faceted nature of the development and their vision for the RDS Arena.’
Leinster Rugby chief executive Mick Dawson said: ‘Leinster Rugby has a loyal supporter base and the redeveloped capacity of 25,000 in a purpose built venue will provide greater opportunities for our supporters and commercial operations.
‘At the moment we have a section of terrace for supporters and though the final plans are not yet complete, we hope to have a terraced section in the new stadium to accommodate people who prefer this. Though the majority of supporters will be seated.’
The competition – organised by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) – sought proposals to rebuild the Anglesea Stand and create more seating in the North, South and Grand stands.
Currently only the Grandstand and Angelsea Stand are permanent with the north and south stands removed for equestrian events. Corporate hospitality areas and media facilities will also be improved as part of the project.
Planned to start on site next year, the redevelopment will allow the historic venue to be used for rugby matches, equestrian sports, music concerts and other appropriate sporting opportunities.