Great Southern Stand
Image: courtesy Daryl Jackson

Site Overview

site name
Great Southern Stand
other/former name:
Great Southern Stand Melbourne Cricket Ground
architect:
Kevin Borland, Daryl Jackson
date of commission:
1989
date of completion:
1992
address:
Brunton Avenue, Jolimont (Melbourne)
classification/typology:
Recreation / Sport (REC-S)
protection status:
Register of the National Estate
editor fiche:
Noni Boyd in 2003

Description

An aerial view of the MCG, the Great Southern Stand is at the top of the image

Source:  Victorian Heritage Register  https://www.doi.vic.gov.au

1.1 current name of building Great Southern Stand
     
1.2 variant or former name n/a
     
1.3 number & name of street Brunton Avenue, Jolimont
     
1.4 town Melbourne
     
1.5 province Victoria
     
1.6 zip code  
     
1.7 country Australia
     
1.8 national grid reference  
     
1.9 classification/typology Sports Stadia
     
1.10 protection status & date Register of the National Estate
     
2 History of building  
     
2.1 original brief/purpose Built to replace the 1937 Southern Stand by Purnell and Pearce.
     
2.2 dates: commission/completion 1989-1992
     
2.3 architectural designers Daryl Jackson in association with Tompkins Shaw and Evans
     
2.4 others associated with building  
     
2.5 significant alterations with dates No significant alterations
     
  current use Grandstand
     
  current condition The building is in good condition
     
3.0 Description  
3.1 general description The stand is described by Philip Goad in his Guide to Melbourne Architecture, the “Great Southern Stand precinct accommodates a total of 60,000 spectators.  Externally the articulation of spectator movement through inclined ramps with lines of port hole windows and glazed stair bays is crowned by a dramatic half ring of steel roof stays, masts and cantilever truss supports for the grandstand roof, recalling the kinetic aesthetic of the Constructivist stadia designs of the 1920s.” (Goad: 1999: 220)
3.2 construction Re-inforced concrete, steel roof structure including trusses, masts and stays.
3.3 context The Register of the National Estate describes the development of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or MCG as it is usually known.

 

From its beginnings as a simple paddock-like ground with a modest pavilion and with limited grandstand and other facilities scattered around the perimeter, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has evolved and expanded through a process of phased redevelopment and renewal into a major piece of sporting infrastructure serving the metropolitan area and the State as a whole.

Currently, the stadium comprises four principal stands, the MCC Members Pavilion (the third on the site, designed by Stephenson and Meldrum and completed in 1927), the Northern (Olympic) Stand (designed by AW Purnell and completed in 1956), the Western (Ponsford) Stand (designed by Tompkins, Shaw & Evans and completed in 1968) and the Great Southern Stand (designed by Daryl Jackson in association with Tompkins Shaw & Evans and completed in 1992), the oval, light towers (1984) and Australian Gallery of Sport (1986).

     
4 Evaluation  
4.1 technical The structurally expressive design reflects the involvement of Daryl Jackson (1937-) reknown in Australia for his expertise in designing sporting structures and stadiums.  (Goad: 1999: p. 220)
4.2 social .
In the broader context, the MCG is also of historical and social significance for its egalitarian image as the ‘people’s ground’ and its long tradition of serving the people of Victoria. The MCG is socially significant as a living icon, a focus of attention in which importance lies in participating in events as well as experiencing the place itself. (VHR entry for the MCG)
4.3 cultural & aesthetic Within the broader conception of the MCG, there are elements with their own architectural significance. Firstly, the Members Pavilion by Stephenson and Meldrum (1927), is architecturally important as a large and relatively intact grandstand from the interwar period, although an appreciation of its impressive façade is marred by the somewhat intrusive Australian Gallery of Sport of 1986. Secondly, the Great Southern Stand by Daryl Jackson in association with Tompkins Shaw and Evans (1992) has been the recipient of a wide range of design awards and has generally been received with acclaim by architectural critics.  (VHR entry for the MCG)

 

The MCG is of aesthetic significance primarily for its overall form and scale.

The MCG is a landmark on the edge of the city, a vast stadium which retains its traditional parkland setting. Whether full or empty, the stadium is of considerable aesthetic power and significance and is a place of energy and great atmosphere.  (VHR entry for the MCG)

4.4 Historical The MCG is also of historical and social significance for its association with the Melbourne Cricket Club, the oldest club in Victoria and a major force in the development of cricket and other sports in Victoria from the nineteenth century.  (VHR entry for the MCG)
4.5 general assessment The MCG is one of the most well known sporting facilities in Australia and has been used continuously since the nineteenth century.
     
 
 
 

Bibliography:

Register of the National Estate, entry for the MCG

Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) www.doi.vic.gov.au/doi/hvolr.nsf

Allom Lovell & Associates in association with Bryce Raworth, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont : Conservation Management Plan, 2000, MCC

Goad, Philip, Melbourne Architecture, Watermark Press, Sydney, 1999

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