Sports and urban revitalization go hand-in-hand. Populous, the company that designed pretty much every major sporting venue on earth has revealed plans for Houston Dynamo, a multi-functional venue that will improve the local neighborhood and serve as the ideal site for football, rugby, soccer and concerts. “We set out to design the perfect urban soccer stadium; tight, atmospheric and intimate,” said Christopher Lee, Populous senior principal, in a statement. “It’s a beautiful stadium for the beautiful game.”
Set to open in 2012, the design incorporates premium features that allow it to blend into and enhance the surrounding area. The $80 million, 340,000 square foot stadium features seating for 22,000 and takes into account the area’s industrial feeling. According to Populous, “A tessellated exterior skin mediates the scale of its context while defining a bold architectural statement in the Houston skyline. Composed of geometrically composed expanded metal sheets and orange polycarbonate infill, this continuous exterior surface surrounds the stadium and provides a dynamic sense of enclosure while enhancing the spectator experience.”
From a spectator’s perspective, the most interesting design feature is the wrap-around concourse, which provides access to concessions and the restrooms while also allowing great views of the action on the field. Additionally, the stadium features 33 luxury suites, an open air patio and a 70 foot deep roof canopy that runs along the field along the east and west sides of the stadium to provide shade and cover. Above the south seating area, a canopy provides the roof for the concealed concert stage.
“We’re extremely pleased to have Populous as our lead architect,” says Dynamo President of Business Operations Chris Canetti, in a statement. “We believe we have the best location for a soccer stadium in the United States, and Populous will help make our new stadium a truly unique home for Dynamo fans and help us create an atmosphere comparable to any in the world.”