Set to become the new home for the Falcons, the multi-purpose Mercedes-Benz Stadium will cover two million ft2 and accommodate seating for approximately 80,000 sports fans, providing a premier facility that will establish a new precedent in sustainable stadia design.
The client is pursuing LEED NC certification as a primary goal, so delivering a stadium with the highest levels of sustainability was an integral part of the design. Other key considerations include the need for flexible space within the stadium to accommodate differing match and crowd requirements, and the creation of the unique retractable roof, which is inspired by oculus in the ancient Roman Pantheon.
BuroHappold Engineering worked closely with the architect to develop a supporting framework that will inform all stages of the program to realize a highly efficient design. One of our primary means of achieving this comes through our pioneering use of ETFE across the building’s facades, which is a transparent, lightweight yet insulating material that allows for minimal, elegant, structural detailing.
While a compelling argument for the versatility and value of this material is made throughout the building, it is perhaps most eloquently demonstrated in its application on the stadium’s 14.5-acre roof. Based around the movement of a camera shutter, our design comprises eight lightweight ETFE panels supported by long span trusses that enable faster opening and closing than a standard retractable roof. The eastern side of the building is also rendered in ETFE, creating a ‘window to the city’, with views to downtown Atlanta.
The project team has worked closely
and collaboratively to realize a holistic design that will ensure both a unique fan experience and a visually impressive venue for premier sporting and entertainment events. As the country’s first single skin ETFE facade, the stadium will also provide an innovative example of the way in which sustainable design can be achieved in the sport and entertainment sector.