The process of makeovers isn’t always pretty, as the plethora of road cones that have littered the surrounding streets of Eden Park during its redevelopment are testament to. But while it may have not been such a pretty affair on the outside, it’s a different story on the inside, as those attending the unveiling of the new look park this Sunday will see. The makeover includes a new look ground and revitalised logo, all set to “put on a distinctively New Zealand face” for the half a million visitors expected to visit the park over the course of the Rugby World Cup.
The fresh new logo comes courtesy of Lemonade Design, which won the account in August, and features strong planes of colour inspired from the surrounding landscape. Eden Park sales and marketing manager Tracy Morgan was extremely complimentary of the new look when we spoke to her, saying Eden Park has received a “spectacular delivery” from the design studio.
“It’s important to have a new logo as a trigger or reflection to acknowledge that we are a new environment going forward,” she says.
Eden Park has been in existence for over 100 years, says Morgan, a point not lost on the new logo, which intentionally emphasises the word ‘Eden’ through the use of bold type. “100 years later, we’re very proud to still carry the name,” she says.
The three colours that sprout from the top of the name are earthy in a bid to blend in with the park's surrounding natural environment. The deep granite colour stroke refers to the stone and volcanic grounds of not only the area the park is built on, but also the greater Auckland volcanic landscape.
The green is (no surprises here) tied into the park’s pitch. “The focal point of what we are is our pitch,” says Morgan. Lastly, the red provides a connection to the pohutakawa canopy that will wind its way around the stadium, a process Morgan was observing from her office window as we spoke to her.
“It’s very much about a sense of place,” says Morgan, in summing up the new look. “The colours are talking to Eden Park and how we fit into our landscape and what we’re about.”
Logo aside, there are some big movements—quite literally—set to occur within the park itself. At 6am this Sunday, tangata whenua, Ngati Whatua will unveil some imposing six-metre tekoteko (carved statues) representing Maori gods at each corner of the ground. The statues will complement the Kiwi feel of 30-metre high ferns sculpted into the steel framework for the clear ETFE cladding of the South stand, as well as the deliberate use of stone in the foundations of the building to reflect Mt Eden’s volcanic heritage and the pohutakawa plantings.
Eden Park Trust chief executive David Kennedy says the changes to the look and feel of the park are about recognising a new era. ”The new Eden Park needs to be more than it was, to more people, as a symbol of Auckland and of New Zealand,” he says. “Many stadiums today have a similar look and feel, but there will be no missing that Eden Park is in the heart of Auckland. The mix of materials, plantings and sculptures will be unmistakably from New Zealand—a real statement of our unique social and environmental heritage.”