Christchurch City Council has revealed preliminary design images of the $362m (NZ$533m) Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) in central Christchurch, New Zealand.

Occupying most of the central Christchurch location, which is bordered by Barbadoes, Tuam, Hereford and Madras streets, the CMUA will have a seating capacity for 30,000 people for sporting events.

The preliminary designs for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena have been developed by the Kōtui consortium, which includes local-based construction firms Fulton Hogan and Southbase Construction, architects Warren and Mahoney, seismic engineering provider Lewis Bradford and global stadium design experts Mott MacDonald and Populous.

The four preliminary design images from Warren and Mahoney and Populous offer an external view of how the CMUA would look on the Christchurch site.

CMUA project delivery board chair Barry Bragg said: “These designs crystallise our vision for the CMUA to be the most modern, fit-for-purpose arena in the country, a facility that leads the way from an innovation and sustainability perspective.’’

The arena, which will be 232m-long, 195m-wide and 36m-high at its tallest point, will be able to accommodate up to 37,800 people for concerts.

Bragg added: “We know people are really excited about the prospect of having a covered arena in the heart of the city and we hope these preliminary designs will capture people’s imaginations and give them a glimpse of what is to come.

“We are well on the way towards delivering Christchurch a world-class covered arena with high-quality acoustics that is capable of hosting top international music concerts as well as major international sporting fixtures.’’

The final preliminary design will be presented to city councillors in January 2022, with construction expected to commence in July. CMUA is slated to open in June 2025.

The investment case of the CMUA project secured approval from the Christchurch Council in 2019.

CMUA’s designs have significantly been developed since the concept was first presented in 2019.

The latest designs cater to the seismic requirements, improve the fan experience, boost the arena’s multi-use functionality and utilise maximised sunlight while reducing noise impacts for properties nearby.

Given that CMUA’s roof needs to be a 175m x 210m single span across the arena field, architects chose an oculus-style roof.

This roof has been designed to act as an independent structure while its dome shape lends additional rigidity to the diaphragm.