After years of preparation, the 2022 World Cup, one of the most anticipated global events of this year, was finally launched. The quadrennial international men's football championship is being held for the first time in an Arab country, Qatar, from the 21st of November to the 18th of December 2022. Ever since FIFA announced that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup back in 2010, preparations for a total of 8 stadiums have been in full force, especially since it will be held in a country with critical climate conditions.
Populous: The Latest Architecture and News
Architecture firm Populous has been chosen as the architect for a new multi-use, climate-neutral event arena in Munich, Germany. The structure aims to create a unique experience; a "compact, efficient, and visually stunning" venue that will be instantly recognizable and reflective of the character and culture of the Bavarian metropolitan area, serving as a new landmark. The 20,000 capacity venue draws upon Bavarian heritage through a support structure that pays homage to the lozenge shape used in the Bavarian state flag.
US office Populous has disclosed its involvement in the design to erect a new 65,000-seat stadium for Liga MX soccer club Tigres UANL, in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. As communicated on its website, the plans for the stadium, whose delivery is scheduled for 2025, were announced at a press conference on January 14, 2022, with the presence of the Governor of Nuevo León, Samuel García, together with representatives of the club, Populous, UANL, Sports Synergy, and Ball Game.
Football clubs AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano will have a new home stadium designed by architecture practice Populous. “The Cathedral” takes inspiration from the city’s architectural landmarks -the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – while incorporating technological and material innovation to create a carbon-neutral structure. The project, which replaces the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, also known as San Siro, is set to revitalize a key urban area of Milan into a district dedicated to sports and leisure.
Comparing revenues from the previous year, Architectural Record lines up annually a list of the Top 300 U.S. Firms. Based on the 2019 data, Gensler tops again the selection, for the ninth year in a row, and Perkins and Will takes the second position. Third, fourth and fifth places were presented for Engineering Architecture firms HDR, Jacobs, and AECOM. Other companies in the top 10 include HKS and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Architecture practice Populous has announced plans for a $50 million esports and entertainment venue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dubbed Fusion Arena, the project will be the home of the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise as the largest esports venue in the western hemisphere. Seating up to 3,500 guests, the project will host a variety of live entertainment programming and events. The arena was made to be the first of its kind for next-generation consumers.
In 776 BC, the Olympic Games of antiquity were hosted at the Olympia stadium in Peloponnese, Greece, an arena widely believed to be the world’s oldest stadium. The elongated U-shaped track and stand had a capacity of up to 45,000 people.
Almost 3000 years later, and the typology of the sports stadium continues to act as a gathering place for tens of thousands of eager spectators. As populations, and indeed revenue generated from sporting events continues to increase around the world, the design of sports stadiums is destined to follow suit.
The Bristol Arena site faces yet another turn of events, as Zaha Hadid Architects and property investor Legal & General have released plans for a large housing development next to Temples Meads Station. The site is one of two proposed locations for the Bristol Arena, a project on hold for more than 15 years as Bristol City Council continues to debate its location. The proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects would include office blocks, a 345 room hotel, conference center and over 500 homes.
I hope you have caught your breath after this year’s FIFA World Cup. France’s win in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium marked the end of an era; the last World Cup with a classic format. After the 2022 Winter tournament in Qatar, the competition will be expanded to 48 teams (rather than the current 32).
As an industry populated by creators, the business of design is continually reconsidered and reshaped by processes of reinvention and experimentation. Rarely content with yesterday’s innovations in anything from modeling software to building materials, architects naturally look for strategic ways to gain maximum advantage in both building and business. Taking just such a creative approach to the challenge of improving athletic venues within the stringent time frame of a team’s offseason, the dominant Kansas City-based sports architecture firm Populous recently launched a standalone service that employs the efficiency advantages of a design-build firm to simplify and expand the process of implementing stadium upgrades without any disruption to the fan experience.
The Madison Square Garden Company has unveiled images of its proposed MSG Sphere in London, a next-generation venue seeking to “redefine live entertainment” through an array of technology geared towards transformative, immersive connections between artists and audiences.
To accompany the London scheme, an MSG Sphere will also be located in Las Vegas. Both are to be designed by Populous, a global firm responsible for a large number of stadia and arenas across the globe.
Last week, the City of Arlington, Texas announced plans to collaborate with Populous in transforming the city’s convention center into North America’s first Esports Stadium. This 100,000-square-foot venue will be designed to draw in both competitive players and fans from around the world, and create the most immersive experience in the live esports market.
Seattle’s historic KeyArena is set to receive a $600 million renovation that will transform the venue into the region’s “premier sports and entertainment destination” as part of plans to launch the city’s first-ever NHL team.
Designed by Populous, the renovation will open up the arena to its surroundings, specifically the 72-acre Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair and home to the currently under-renovation Seattle Space Needle. As part of the project, the sports venue will be rebranded as “The Arena at Seattle Center.”
The Madison Square Garden Company, the eponymous group behind New York City’s iconic concert and events venue, has revealed plans to building two new arenas on opposite sides of the world that will both be shaped like giant spheres.
To be branded as MSG Spheres, the venues will be located in Las Vegas and in London, and will be designed by Populous, the Kansas City-based firm responsible for a large number of stadia and arenas across the globe.
Clarification Update 10/4/17: Populous and Egis were selected in 2016 to collaborate on the Paris 2024 bid; this news piece reflects the bid’s approval by the International Olympic Committee. However, the team to lead the next planning phase for Paris 2024 has yet to be decided. Stay tuned for further information.
The Paris 2024 Olympic bid, featuring planning for 38 Olympics and Paralympic venues across the city by the team of Populous and engineering consultants Egis, has received approval as part of the International Olympic Committee’s naming of the 2024 host city.
Populous, in collaboration with Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects and BuroHappold Engineering, have submitted their design proposal for the new 12,000-person Bristol Arena to the Bristol City Council for planning approval. Following the consultation with the city and with the public, “plans have been developed further to show how event spaces in front of the arena can be used for performances, outdoor cinema, festivals, and markets.”
Before it was even completed, the legacy of the Populous-designed stadium for the London 2012 Olympics was a thorny issue. Originally designed to be largely dismantled after the games, a sudden interest in the future stadium from local football teams led to an about-face by the government, resulting in a renewed brief for a design that could be adapted to host football matches. What followed after the games was recently described by The Guardian's sports correspondent Owen Gibson as "a huge, expensive engineering puzzle" in which "to all intents and purposes, it has been completely rebuilt."
FC Barcelona has announced 14 teams in the running for two planned overhauls of their facilities at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, including alterations to their main stadium and the rebuilding of the Palau Blaugrana, the nearby arena owned by the club and used primarily for basketball and handball. The alterations to the two buildings are part of a larger €600 million project, known officially as "Nou Espai Barça," which seeks to improve the club's entire campus, also adding an ice skating rink, new offices, 5,000 parking spaces and improving the outdoor space surrounding the facilities. The Nou Espai Barça project was approved by the club's fanbase last April after a 72% vote in favor of the proposal.
The list names eight teams - including BIG, Populous, HKS and Arup Sport - in the running for the overhaul of the stadium itself, which will involve the addition of almost 6,000 seats to bring the stadium's total capacity to 105,000, increasing the stadium's lead as the largest football stadium in Europe. It will also include a complete redesign of the lowest seating tier to offer improved views, and the addition of a roof over the terraces. Also named are the six teams in the running to rebuild the Palau Blaugrana.