Videos

New Spurs stadium walk-through video

Spurs stadium walk-through video

What will Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium look like on the inside? The club has released this video that takes a walk through the concourses and out to the bowl.

Click image to view video

Minnesota United FC’s Allianz Field update

la_coliseum_update

With the countdown to the opening of Allianz Field in 2019, this video shows off the latest state of Minnesota United FC’s new home.

Click image to view video

Latest renovation update at the LA Coliseum

LA Coliseum Update Part 2

The LA Coliseum is getting ready for football. Watch as the home of the University of Southern California is fitting eight temporary press boxes and installing nearly 10,000 new seats for the south side of the iconic stadium.

Click image to view video

Can you name this stadium?


Join our
LinkedIn Group


Web Exclusives

« back to listing

One-on-one: Alex Phi, lead designer, Gensler Sports

Gensler Sports’ lead designer discusses the safe-standing section at Banc of California Stadium, and how virtual and augmented reality has enhanced the design process

 

On the cover of the latest issue of Stadia readers will have noticed renderings of the Banc of California Stadium, set to be the new home of Los Angeles FC when it opens in 2018. Situated in downtown LA, California, the 22,000-seat venue boasts a striking design, and the club also recently announced that the stadium will feature a safe-standing section. Stadia spoke with Alex Phi, lead designer at Gensler Sports, about the challenges of the project, and how the latest technologies were applied to the architectural process.

Tell us about one of the most challenging aspects of the stadium design and how you addressed it

Banc of California Stadium will be the first, new open-air stadium in Los Angeles since 1962. Set to debut in 2018, the new home of LAFC will accommodate up to 22,000 fans. The 190,000ft² ETFE roof canopy is one of the most complex forms that Gensler Sports has developed for the project. It is designed to minimize glare and heat on fans while simultaneously allowing enough sunlight in for grass growth on the pitch.

Beyond functional elements, this angel wing-inspired roof canopy is a character-defining feature for the project. The fluid canopy, structure and the complex ETFE panel system were designed using scripting software and close collaboration with our engineering and contractor partners. The resulting form is a dynamic unifying element, navigating all sections of the stadium seating bowl.

What do you feel are the venue’s strongest characteristics?
In early meetings with the club, LAFC made it clear that a world-class game-day experience would drive the design of Banc of California Stadium. We listened, crafting an intimate and intense match experience that will bring fans closer to the game than is typical in the MLS. From designing stadium seating at 34° to having our closest seats to the pitch at only 12ft away from the touchline, the stadium is designed to enhance this experience for fans.

Which elements of the stadium design are you most proud of?
While I’m excited about the roof canopy, I am equally proud of the supporters’ section. As the first stadium with safe standing on the West Coast and the first stadium in North America with safe standing rail seats, the Banc of California Stadium will provide the opportunity for supporters to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, creating an electrifying atmosphere on matchdays.

LAFC took a proactive and grass-roots approach with their supporters, engaging them in early brainstorming about everything from the club brand to the venue design. We embraced this open collaboration, leading town hall meetings and visioning sessions at our Los Angeles office with LAFC and supporter representatives to shape the design of ‘their’ stadium. It was in these sessions that the supporters championed the idea of safe standing for their section of Banc of California Stadium.

We worked with LAFC to verify the feasibility of this and determined that it was a win-win opportunity. We worked closely with LAFC ownership to incorporate global best practices into the safe-standing section, and we’re incredibly proud to have created the most supporter-forward environment in MLS.

What do you feel makes this stadium stand out from similar MLS venues that might be in the pipeline?
During the design process, LAFC’s owners stressed that, to be successful, this team and venue must be “of Los Angeles and for Los Angeles.” As the new MLS team in town, LAFC understood that capturing the ethos and authenticity of this city would resonate with future fans and be critical to challenging the market.

The stadium reflects these values, celebrating the city based on its proximity to Downtown, the diversity of program inside, and the unique experiences that will be offered on and off gameday. This design embraces and strengthens the LAFC brand, tying into the rich heritage of Los Angeles, one of the largest and most diverse markets in the world.

And it’s been an amazing experience to develop a new home for the new team in the fastest growing professional sport in America. This is more than a stadium. The Banc of California Stadium will be a sports destination that people will go out of their way to experience.

What role did VR/AR play in the design of the stadium?
As VR is quickly gaining popularity in many design industries, Gensler is analyzing how it affects every step of the design process, from conception to delivery, in terms of its effects on design.

On the storytelling front, we are working hard to provide the opportunity to get this in the hands of our clients, the sports teams. This will allow them to use this technology to sell sponsorship ideas, create branded opportunities, recruit players and coaches, and convey event configurations which becomes vital for ROI.

LAFC saw the value of VR from the onset, and has been a strong advocate and collaborative partner in how we use these design technologies to study and realize critical elements of this stadium.

How did the use of these technologies alter the process of designing a state-of-the-art stadium? What advantages did it bring?
Historically, architectural design was a very linear process when it comes to painting a story through floorplans, sections and renderings. With the use of VR/AR technology we can bring the design to life for our clients and fans, helping them to more easily see what we as designers are thinking. This is particularly critical when it comes to stakeholder feedback and approval during design. Stakeholder reviews are far more robust with these technologies, as decision makers can immerse themselves in the stadium and the experience to gain a more complete understanding of the design direction, accelerating the approval process.

Does the use of VR/AR have any limitations – and if so, do you feel these will be overcome as the technology advances?
Current limitations are really with the hardware. Gensler’s roadmap for VR/AR looks beyond the limitations of the current technology and specifically at the blue-sky nature of what reality offers us. Just like true reality, virtual and augmented reality technologies have their own version of every opportunity.

What did using VR/AR enable you, as designers, to model that you would not otherwise have been able to?
Unlike many teams we work with, LAFC is a new franchise with no preexisting history. We worked with the team to craft a vision for the design that helped to inform the character of the club and the brand.

Through VR, we have been able to leverage our visuals to craft unique experiences within this new brand to sell not only the design of spaces but also to convey the feeling of circulating through key sequences of the stadium. Using sound, video and interactive moments, we can give clients, partners and fans a realistic taste of the gameday experience, long before opening day. Fans have an unprecedented opportunity to engage this brand experience through VR.

Do you think this technology will be a mainstay of stadium design in the future?
Absolutely! At Gensler Sports, our focus goes beyond just designing spaces, but on creating experiences. Technology already plays a critical role in the gameday experience, from buying your tickets online and visualizing your seats to remotely ordering food or posting memories on social media while at the event. VR technology is unlocking opportunities to conceive, curate and communicate those experiences to our clients and to the end users – the fans – during the design process.

Tools like this help us to test fit the experience in a way far more compelling than rendered images could ever achieve, and will continue to influence how the best design ideas find their way into the final project and end-user experience.

August 16, 2017

 

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

Audi Field: Facts and figures

Audi Field, the new home of Major League Soccer’s DC United, has finally opened after breaking ground in 2017.
Click here to read more



MMArena performs Europe's first ever pitch transfer

MMArena, home to French soccer side Le Mans FC, has carried out Europe’s first ever pitch transfer between two arenas after it installed hybrid turf removed from the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, which is over 622 miles away.
Click here to read more



One-on-one: Wimbledon tennis: The secrets of keeping the grass playing surface in perfect shape

Neil Stubley, head of courts and horticulture at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, reveals what it takes to prepare and maintain the immaculate grass tennis court playing surfaces before and during The Championships at Wimbledon.
Click here to read more



One-on-one: Ron Moors, Schmitz Foam quality and development manager

Ron Moors, quality and development manager at Schmitz Foam, talks to Stadia about the developments in synthetic turf and whether it could completely replace natural grass pitches in the future.  
Click here to read more



World Cup 2018 stadium guide: The facts and stats of every host venue

The FIFA 2018 World Cup will see 64 games played at 12 venues, new and old, across Russia during the tournament. Here’s a list of every stadium and the story behind them.
Click here to read more




Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the stadia community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to matt.ross@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightWe are building a list of leading suppliers covering all aspects of the stadia industry. Want to see your company included? Contact john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com for more details.