Thomond Park Stadium Redevelopment
Client: Munster Branch IRFU
Architect: AFL Architects, Murray O’Laoire Architects
Contractor: PJ Hegarty & Sons Ltd.
Services Provided: C&S Engineering Services
Category: Stadium, Leisure & Hotels
Project Duration: 2006 – 2008
PUNCH Consulting Engineers worked closely with Architects Murray O’Laoire and Atherton Fuller Leng on this landmark project. Innovative structural engineering techniques were combined with distinctive architecture to produce a structure that stands out as a proud home for Munster Rugby, and is now a major city landmark.
Early studies showed how the required capacity could be provided by building two single-tier stands, one on each of the long sides of the pitch. The curved plan option adopted for optimum spectator sight-lines naturally gives rise to a variable roof profile which drops in height towards the ends. Various options for the roof structure were evaluated, with the now-famous 150m span arches emerging as the clear preference. The truss profile was developed in close conjunction with the Architect, reflecting both structural and aesthetic judgments.
Thomond Park is a site of enormous importance to the rugby loving public and represents a community’s expression of its own very special identity. As such, it demanded an exceptional response from the design and construction team, and its completion represented the culmination of several years of detailed design and coordination for all involved. The outcome has answered all of the challenges set by the brief and in the process has created a major public landmark that expresses with elegance and power the possibilities latent in close collaboration between great Engineering and Architecture.