Coogee Oval Grandstand Refurbishment

  • Event :
  • Remdial :
  • Structural :
  • Hydraulic :
  • All : All

Coogee Oval sporting ground has longstanding cultural and historical links to sports and recreation in the area. The venue is home to Randwick Petersham Cricket Club and Randwick Rugby Union Club. The Grandstand was originally constructed in 1924 with modifications made in 1983. Engineering design and documentation for the project commenced in February 2019 Construction on site commenced in November 2020 and the project was completed in June 2021.

The Project brief and Partridge’s response

The brief was to act as the structural engineers to deliver the analysis, design, documentation and site supervision to support the architect’s design to extend the life of a nearly 100 year old sporting landmark in an advanced state of deterioration.

Partridge’s response to the brief incorporated the following:
– Alterations to the existing grandstand structure
– Replacement of the concrete grandstand structure
– Addition of new crowd loading balustrading
– Remediation to corroded steelwork
– Refurbishment of the change room facilities
– Brick repair and re-pointing
– Modification to the existing roof structure

The Design & Construction Process

The original design intention was to retain the existing concrete bleachers by carrying out a concrete repair methodology as the soffit of the concrete surface appeared to have evidence of spalling concrete and rusting reinforcement. However, once construction commenced it was clear that the concrete bleacher structure was significantly more deteriorated than was originally thought. This was predominantly due to poor workmanship, exposure to the sea air, and poor waterproofing detailing.

After extensive investigations and in consultation with the contractor, design team, and client the decision was made to replace the concrete bleachers rather than continue with the repair methodology. Removal of the concrete bleacher structure resulted in a considerable temporary works scheme being required in order to maintain the structural stability of the side walls, office/ meeting room and grandstand roof columns which all relied upon the concrete bleacher slab for support.

Throughout the construction phase, Partridge advised on all manner of issues from construction sequencing, demolition methodologies, temporary support, jointing and pour breaks.


The design kept as much of the existing structure that we could to re-use and adapt the existing structure rather than demolition and re-construction. Timber framing was used for the alterations wherever the design allowed. Existing steelwork was ground back to sound steelwork and the reduced cross section checked to ensure structural adequacy rather than replace with new.


The Coogee Oval Grandstand has been a part of Coogee history since 1924. The recent refurbishment has given the nearly 100 year old structure a new life to allow it to continue providing sporting enjoyment to the local community.

Challenges & Resolutions

The key challenge was dealing with the condition of the concrete bleacher slab and then maintaining the stability of the existing structure during demolition and reinstatement of the slab.

Coordinating the demolition works and the temporary works around the installation of the permanent works required thorough planning and coordination with the contractor. We had to temporarily prop the existing grandstand roof columns and side walls to temporarily recreate the lateral support which had been provided by the bleacher slab. This propping had to be coordinated with the crash deck to allow safe demolition of the existing bleacher slab.

The upper office/ meeting rooms also took support off the concrete bleacher slab, which needed to be propped to permit the safe demolition of the concrete bleacher slab. This required careful sequencing of a series of slab cuts to prevent vibrations during demolition of the bleacher slab being transferred through to the existing structure.

Architect: Melocco & Moore

Builder: Xenia Constructions