Aviva Stadium

Buro Happold
  • Aviva Stadium arial view
  • Aviva Stadium from the river
  • Aviva Stadium inside
  • Aviva Stadium inside at sunset
  • Aviva Stadium over the houses

1 / Introduction

A shimmering, transparent form sitting on the famous Lansdowne Road site, the Aviva Stadium offers Dublin both a visually spectacular venue and the first truly ‘responsive’ stadium building of its type in the world, its form and materials being shaped and moulded to suit the specific constraints of this special and historic site and its surrounds.


Key facts

  • New stadium located at iconic Lansdowne Road site in Dublin
  • State of the art roof design transforms spectator experience
  • Stadium designed completely in 3D software
  • 5,000 tons of structural steel used in construction

Related Disciplines

The Project Details

Client:
Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company

Architect:
Populous / Scott Tallon Walker

Project Value:
400m Euros

Dates:
2005 - 2010

Buro Happold services:
SMART solutions, geotechnical, structural engineering, flood risk, civil engineering, site supervision

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2 / Challenge

With a 50,000 seat capacity, this state-of-the-art building is home for both the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Football Association of Ireland and needed to accommodate both sports at the very highest international level. Built on an incredibly tight existing site in a residential area, wrapped around the local DART railway line, the challenge for our team was to deliver a building that was able to house thousands of passionate fans, in a venue of sufficient size to deliver top flight sport, entertainment, safety and comfort, while keeping the famous Lansdowne Road atmosphere at the heart of its design. The constraints were complex and signifcant!

3 / Solution

The solution to the building lies in its unique form; the team moulded the envelope to respond simultaneously to the close proximity of adjacent roads and properties, tight spectator access and egress issues, the accommodation of the adjacent railway through the building and of course the enclosure of the tens of thousands of fans who all needed to have excellent views and accessible facilities. The resulting enclosure sweeps its way around the building, dancing its way around these constraints to rise in the east and west, dropping slightly to the south adjacent to Lansdowne Road itself, but then dropping dramatically to the north.

Our engineers designed a sweeping, complex two part roof featuring an innovative ‘horseshoe’ truss, spanning over the three higher tiers and connecting to an independent shell structure over the lower north stand – the roof in effect spans the whole perimeter of the building wrapping back on itself through 180 degrees. Aviva’s striking façade is constructed using 19,000 sqm of polycarbonate panels to achieve the architect’s vision for a stadium that reflects its waterside surroundings and showcases the original and unique form to the max.

The success of Aviva’s structural form is thanks to the collaborative 3D design between Populous, the architect, and our team of specialists – designed from start to finish using our bespoke software, the result is a building that would have been impossible to design and deliver even as little as ten years ago.

4 / Value

Highly distinctive and innovative, the Buro Happold-designed roof offers an uncompromising experience for spectators: dipping down to the southern sky, the transparent structure allows sunlight to flood the high performance sports turf to create the ultimate playing surface. Lying below the roof the stadium’s seating stands are positioned to ensure optimal sightlines for spectators.

Highly distinctive and innovative, this Buro Happold engineered stadium offers an uncompromising experience for spectators and athletes alike. Our team has taken a tight existing city centre site that was previously home to an overwhelmed and underperforming building and found a way to redevelop it and deliver a modern state of the art venue that could remain on its historic site.  By using our engineering skills and strong collaboration with our architectural colleagues, we have created a building that no-one thought possible.