Aviva Stadium

Dublin, Ireland

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 surroundings.


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 significant!


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 facade is constructed using 19,000m2 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.

Matthew Birchall, Cluster Leader and Project Principal
Aviva’s striking facade is constructed using 19,000m2 of polycarbonate panels. Image: Peter Barrow


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.

Our expert 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.

Aviva Stadium: The state of the art roof design transforms spectator experience. Image: Chris Gascoigne

Our policies and terms outline the information we collect about you, and how we process your personal information, please read them to be fully informed. We also use cookies on our website to provide you with a better experience. By continuing to use this site, without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Continue Close