• Jason Kaye

Win, lose or draw…the stadiums worth celebrating

For some, a stadium can provide as much joy during a football match or concert as the players on the pitch or artist on stage – for others, they go unnoticed and unappreciated.

If you look closely at the finer details – the artwork gracing the corridors or the complexity of the seating to provide just the right atmosphere – they are highly impressive structures. Here’s a look at a few of the most interesting Stadia across the globe.


Wembley National Stadium


When it came to the redesign of Wembley, the honour fell to Populous and Foster + Partners, who were tasked with creating the state-of-the-art facilities required for the next generation of footballers, performers and fans. The result is a now iconic arch that supports a 7,000-tonne steel roof structure; a single-bowl seating plan offering clear views for everyone; and an unparalleled atmosphere that adds to the magic of any event.


Wembley National Stadium – Foster + Partners- Populous (Click image to see more)


Fisht Olympic Stadium


This was the focal point of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The Sochi-based venue is set for another stint on the global stage as it hosts various matches during the forthcoming World Cup.


During its inception, David Dexter Associates was charged with the detail design of all secondary steelwork required to support the 40,000m2 roof. Sustainable design and the use of materials such as the EFTE roof makes the stadium a fine addition to the surrounding Sochi landscape.


Fisht Olympic Stadium- David Dexter Associates (Click image to see more)


Etihad Stadium – Manchester


For years, Old Trafford was the stadium in Manchester, but when it was announced that the 2002 Commonwealth Games were to be held in the city, it was clear that the blue half would be benefitting in the long run.


The City of Manchester Stadium, known as “The Etihad” for sponsorship reasons, is the eighth largest stadium in the UK and the fourth largest Premier League ground. The ground currently holds 55,000 fans at capacity after the South Stand of the ground was increased in recent years. There are plans by Manchester City to increase this further by expanding the North Stand also, to make this the second biggest Premier League ground at around 63,000.

BuroHappold Engineering has been employed to work on multiple aspects of this expansion, which includes an extension of the south stand. The BuroHappold team was tasked with developing a design for the roof of this extension that could be incorporated within the existing structure – an unusual and structurally complex clad cable net roof.

Etihad Stadium


Stadio Della Roma


When it opens – possibly as soon as 2020 – Stadio Della Roma will surely be on the list of Europe’s must-visit football grounds along with the Bernabéu and Camp Nou.

Woods Bagot provided the concept and schematic design for the 52,500-seat stadium that will host Roma’s home games in the next few years. The design focuses on intimacy and boasts one of international football’s most tightly organised seating bowls for an extraordinary atmosphere.


The ground aims to set a new benchmark for European football venues, with first-class amenities and stadium technology to rival professional sports around the world.


Stadio Della Roma– Woods Bagot (Click image to see more)


Otkritie Arena (aka the Spartak Stadium)


Should England finish runners up in their group, they’ll play at this staduim – another key venue for the 2018 World Cup.


The striking facade was designed by Dexter Moren Associates and the armour-like panels do more than reflect traditional Moscow architecture – they also adapt to the city’s volatile weather conditions.


Otkritie Arena FC Spartak Moscow- Dexter Moren Associates (Click image to see more)


Tottenham’s New White Hart Lane


This stadium was demolished in 2017 to make way for a brand new 61,000-seater venue, whose state of the art facilities will not only support football matches but concerts, NFL games and private events, too.


Key to the success of this development was ensuring that the old stadium remains in use while the new ground is being built. Blast specialists at BuroHappold worked closely with the project’s architect to integrate blast protection within the fabric of the structure


BuroHappold – Tottenham Hotspur New Stadium (Click image to see more)


Stade Océane, Le Havre


English stadiums have become influential across Europe, so much so that part of the brief set by French football team Le Havre AC for KSS Group was to create a venue that delivered the “English stadia experience”.


The result is a ground that effortlessly blends the club’s rich history with forward-thinking initiative – Stade Océane is the first stadium in France that has been designed to generate as much electrical energy as it consumes. The pixelated ETFE shell cladding of the 25,000-seater acts as a shining beacon for the port city.


KSS Group – Stade Océane, Le Havre (Click image to see more)


Mercedes-Benz Stadium


Across the pond, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to become the new home of both the American football team the Atlanta Falcons and the newly formed association football team Atlanta United.


Covering almost two million sq ft, the multi-purpose stadium will accommodate around 80,000 fans and establish a new precedent in the structure of long-span roofs – one of the more challenging aspects of this project for BuroHappold and HOK was to find a fresh and innovative approach to the movement of more typical bi-panel retractable roofs without blocking the view to the sky.


BuroHappold – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Click image to see more)