The new home for the Atlanta Falcons National Football League team and the new Atlanta United, a Major League Soccer team, the multi-purpose Mercedes-Benz Stadium covers nearly two million ft2 and accommodates seating for approximately 80,000 sports fans, providing a premier venue that has established a new precedent in the structure of long span roofs.
The design team was charged with creating an iconic, world class, high performance stadium and to find a fresh approach to the movement of typical bi-panel retractable roofs, all while incorporating a large scoreboard without blocking the view to sky.
BuroHappold worked closely with architect HOK to develop a retractable roof concept that was not only unique but also provided views to a large 360 degree “halo” scoreboard to every spectator.
Roger Nickells, Partner
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof can open in 10 minutes or less by moving eight cantilevered “petals” to create an exciting pin-wheel appearance while opening. Eight wing-like facade panels pay architectural tribute to the Atlanta Falcons, and define the stadium’s distinctive sculptural form.
One of our primary means of achieving this comes through our design which utilizes ETFE cushions, a transparent, inflated lightweight material that exerts minimal weight on the long span cantilevered moving petals. When the petals slide open, the oval-shaped roof opening spans the length of the field past each end zone. Lightweight and translucent, they provide views out to the city while allowing daylight in to illuminate the action on the pitch.
The complex geometry of the facades, framed with elegant lightweight steel, help to create an iconic exterior. The eastern facade of the building is rendered in a pioneering use of single skin ETFE, creating a “window to the city”, with views to downtown Atlanta. The facade panels clad in single-skin ETFE are a first of its kind in the US, with the ETFE membrane providing effective insulation to temper unwanted heat gain within the venue.
Additionally, delivering a stadium with the highest levels of sustainability was integral to the design. The stadium is now the first LEED Platinum certified stadium in North America. Our analytics team evaluated the carbon footprint of the stadium, using the LEEDv4 methodology for Life Cycle Assessment to guide the choice of materials across the project. Other key initiatives include an effective water capture and reuse system, as well as over 4,000 PV panels that will generate enough solar energy each year to power 10 Atlanta Falcons home games.
The Halo Board offers a 360°, high definition LED video display ensures fans enjoy a rich, immersive and theatrical experience whether the roof is open or closed.
The project team has worked collaboratively to realize a holistic design that will ensure both a unique fan experience and a visually impressive venue for premier sports and entertainment events. With an innovative long span steel roof and the country’s first single skin ETFE facade, the stadium will provide a ground breaking example of how an elegant design can provide an iconic, fan-friendly, high performance building in the sport and entertainment sector.
Services and approach
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