Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The infinity stadium: Intensifying the sublime in post-event stadia

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posted on 2021-12-07, 13:08 authored by Sorger, Finn

The Stadium is a blend of commercialism, functionality, regulation and iconicism. At the height of its power, a Stadium is an unrivalled example of the Sublime functioning at a massive scale for a collective and for individuals simultaneously. Every year, large-scale stadia are built for events such as Olympic Games or World Cups which then become underused or even abandoned after the event has finished. Despite this, these facilities continue to be built. This thesis argues that the challenge then, is to design the Sublime into the post-event stadia architecture.  This thesis looks to explore architectural design methods that invest the post-event stadia with the Sublime. The aim is to intensify the Sublime, often found at the height of the event, in post-event situations. Explorations in scale and programming are used to test such intensifications. Can the Sublime – which, to paraphrase Burke, is “the strongest of emotions causing astonishment because of unimagined eloquence, greatness, significance, or power, and which is experienced by the user as awe, wonder or even dread, fear and terror” - be found after the event?  This research uses iterative design experimentation to tease out the Sublime at three scales: that of an installation, then a domestic scale and then an urban-public scale. This research ultimately looks to create a project that uses the Sublime as a main driver and design criterion for creating a Stadium that is as effective at low capacity as it is at full capacity through the enticement of the Sublime.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Twose, Simon