From football and basketball to soccer and hockey, rock concerts to monster
truck rallies, perhaps no building type better represents and plays host
to our hopes and dreams than our constellation of stadiums and arenas. And,
like any architecture, the design and expectations for these palaces, where
tens of thousands of fans gather for hours at a time, are constantly changing.
Gone are the simple old seating bowls with scarcely a concession or
amenity to be found. Today, stadium and arena projects combine
state-of-the-art technology with an increasing focus on hospitality.
While the thrill of a stadium or arena experience comes from the shared
excitement of being amongst a large crowd in a massive, wide-open
architectural volume, designers of sports and entertainment venues
increasingly are called upon to deliver a variety of spaces, many of them
as intimate and human scaled as the seating bowls are vast. Charged with
balancing reverence for the past with eager anticipation of the future,
meeting ever more stringent energy-efficiency goals even as technological
options grow exponentially, interior designers have embraced a more vital
role in making stadiums and arenas the spectacles they are today.
The stadium and arena projects that follow reflect this new generation and
the countless ways design plays a hand in the experience of these spaces.
With interior design playing a greater role than ever,
today’s sports and entertainment palaces are destinations
i+D — November/December 2017 50
By Brian Libby