Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, designed as a result of a collaboration between global architects Populous and Dublin‐based architects, Scott Tallon Walker was officially opened Friday by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, TD. Aviva Stadium, previously called the Lansdowne Road Stadium, hosted its first game of international rugby in 1878. The 50,000 seat stadium will be used for international rugby and soccer fixtures and as a concert and events venue.
Complete press release after the break.
Commenting on today’s opening, Ben Vickery, Senior Principal of Populous said:
“There are some buildings which are a pleasure to be a part of and Aviva Stadium is definitely one of those special moments. We have striven to design a stadium worthy of the sporting occasions that will take place within it, as well as create a building that works in harmony with the local community and environment. The bold design of Aviva’s roof creates the image of the sky coming down to meet the ground in a reflective crystal bowl.”
The key to the success of the design was the sensitivity to the surrounding area. The north end of the Aviva stadium has a dramatic dip to the roof and seating to allow sunlight to the houses immediately behind and likewise at the south end to provide daylight to the buildings along Lansdowne Road. The environment and sustainability were a prominent part of the design process with rain water collected to irrigate the pitch and waste heat from the generators used to heat the water for the toilets. The glass and polycarbonate cladding flood the public areas of the stadium with natural light and even the escalators are fitted with sensors to ensure they only run when people are standing on them.
The opening fixture on 31 July will be as historic a match as the hollowed turf on which it is to be played. The IRFU has arranged for two composite provincial teams – a combined Connaught/Munster selection will play a combined Leinster/Ulster selection. The first soccer match will be on 4 August when a League
of Ireland team plays Manchester United and this will be quickly followed by a soccer match between Ireland and Argentina. The first Rugby international will be on the 6 November between Ireland and South Africa.
Key stadium facts:
• Capacity – 50,000
• Oldest International Stadium in the world
• The steel roof structure at Lansdowne Road weighs 150 kilograms per square metre
• Rainwater is harvested from the roof, stored in tanks in the basement and used to irrigate the pitch