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Sports Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
This article was originally published on May 9, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.
France took home the gold in this year's World Cup, however, in four years time, the world will turn its eyes to Qatar for another round of soccer mania. Preparations for the 2022 World Cup are already in full swing, with the construction and restoration of 8 stadiums that will host teams and fans from across the globe.
Get to know the 8 Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiums below.
Hungarian architects Paradigma Ariadné push the concepts of progression and growth to a literal spatial extreme in their proposal for a new sport complex for the MTK Football Academy. Drawing inspiration from the diagram of traditional European peasant houses, the design stretches into a kind of visual infinity, stacking all the rooms in the building along a single horizontal axis.
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.
Stadiums —new or remodeled— provide excellent and innovative examples of architecture on a large scale; they are required to shelter thousands of people, including the athletes of the games they host. In addition to the technical aspects and considerations related to sports, these structures apply interesting cladding systems, with some stadiums even generating the energy needed to function.
Read on for more about stadiums and their structures in detail.
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.”
Construction of Zaha Hadid Architects’ Al Wakrah Stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is marching forward, with an opening date anticipated by the end of 2018. As shown in a video released by the Supreme Committee for Legacy & Delivery, the stadium’s concrete lower bowl has been poured and its massive roof pillars have been successfully installed.
On the 4th of February, Minneapolis will host the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles for the 52nd Super Bowl. With over 100 million people expected to watch the game this Sunday, all eyes will be on the city of Minneapolis—a city known for not allowing the harsh climate get in the way of their celebrations—and the brand new US Bank Stadium, where a huge permanent roof will ensure that, come rain, shine, or snow, Minneapolitans will have a space to gather and enjoy themselves.
HKS Architects took on the challenge of designing the stadium to replace the Minnesota Viking’s previous home, the Metrodome, which was known as "Minneapolis’s living room" for the strong relationship it had with the population as both a civic hub and a stadium. Unlike past stadiums the Dallas-based architects have designed, the US Bank Stadium required a different outlook, with a focus on designing a catalyst for public infrastructure and a communal space that provokes interaction with the community. So how did they achieve a structure that can both host the Super Bowl yet remain a prominent part of the city for years to come? We spoke to the lead architect on the US Bank Stadium, Lance Evans, about how to design and construct the centerpiece for one of the biggest sports events of the year.
The gas station does not usually catch one’s fancy. It is a ubiquitous building, one built primarily for function instead of for pleasure or community. We see them all the time but barely give them a second glance unless the need arises – and then, we get our fuel, and we are out of the station in minutes.
With the smell of gasoline and the usual convenience store spread, these service stations do not exude any particular sense of wellness. Neither have their flat, perennial structures captured the imagination of architects – until now.
Reebok and Gensler are the first to catch on to the enormous potential of the common gas station. These buildings sit on prime real-estate all over the country, from highways to local streets. In their new collaborative project, “Get Pumped,” the global architecture firm and the fitness brand are coming up with a plan to re-do the gas station as we know it.
Foster + Partners has revealed designs for the new headquarters of the PGA TOUR to be located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Located on a large freshwater lake at the TPC at Sawgrass resort, the 187,000-square-foot building will create an “uplifting and inspiring” environment for employees and visitors through its transparent walls, lush greenery and all-encompassing roof structure.
BIG has revealed plans for a new sports and entertainment district in Austin, Texas, that will bring soccer, rodeo, music, shopping, dining and hospitality under one roof. Called the East Austin District, the 1.3 million-square-foot complex will be located on the site of the existing Rodeo Austin, offering a new entertainment experience for the city’s booming population.
HOK's Mercedes-Benz Stadium is officially the first LEED Platinum certified professional sports stadium in the United States. The new home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons boasts the highest sports venue LEED score at 88 total points.
There is much more to learn from this stadium than just its unique retractable roof system. The two-million-square-foot venue is an unprecedented model for sustainability and performance innovation. Its notable design solutions conserve water, lighting, and energy.
On Thursday, July 29th, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano's roof was officially completed. This new stadium, a renovation of the old Peineta athletics stadium, is the new home ground of Spanish football club Atlético Madrid.
In this video, FCC Construcción captures the intense work on the roof which was designed and constructed by engineers Schlaich Bergermann Partner. The milestone marks four months of intense work since the installation of the first of the 96 PTFE radial panels at the north end of the stadium.
Few architectural typologies are more centered around the human experience than a sporting arena. The design of sports stadiums often feature notable architecture firms, such as Herzog & de Meuron’s design for Chelsea’s football stadium in London, and Kengo Kuma’s 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Recently, renowned design practice HOK tackled stadium design using an obvious yet untapped resource in the design of rugby stadiums –rugby players themselves.
John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, met with legendary rugby players Jamie Roberts (Wales), Tim Visser (Scotland), James Horwill (Australia) and Danny Care (England) to capture their ideas, both as players and fans. The findings were collated into a video by HOK, which you can watch below.
We’ve all heard of the record-breaking times, longest distances and of course, winners of those coveted medals, but according to 99% Invisible there is a lesser-known Olympic Games honor participants have received: awards in architecture. In an article tracing the history of this bizarre tradition, Kurt Kohlstedt explores how medals were awarded to five categories of the arts during the Olympic Games, presented to participants alongside their sporting competitors.
British green energy company Ecotricity has revealed plans for a new Zaha Hadid Architects-designed green technology hub in Stroud, England. The project, known as the “Gateway to Stroud,” will consist of several greenhouse-like buildings and a wooden footbridge that will connect the campus to the future all-wood stadium for the Forest Green Rovers football club, also designed by ZHA and revealed late last year.
Planned as a center for local sports and sports science, the ECO park will provide state-of-the-art office space for environmentally-focused companies as well as public access to a wide range of health and leisure activities.
BIVAK Architecture and Design has won a competition to design a rowing arena in Hungary for a host of championships taking place in the country in the coming years. The competition, hosted by the Hungarian Rowing Association (MKKSZ) and Hungarian Academy of Arts, was open to architects under 40 years of age. BIVAK’s winning proposal, announced in February 2017, centers on a 90-meter-long tower ‘gliding’ above the water.