Populous and Scott Tallon Walker collaborate on world's first truly site responsive stadium
In 2004 the Irish Rugby Football Union, the Football Association of Ireland and Irish Government combined with the stated purpose of creating a piece of world class sporting infrastructure that would do justice to Ireland’s international rugby and soccer teams and which would act as a financial engine to generate funding for the development of rugby and soccer in the country. After considering several sites, Lansdowne Road, the world’s oldest international rugby ground, was deemed the appropriate site for Ireland’s new international stadium for rugby and soccer.
The urban site presented many challenges, being bounded by the River Dodder to the East, bisected by the main Dublin-Wexford railway line and surrounded by established residential properties. In addition there was also the requirement to keep both Lansdowne Football Club and Wanderers Football Club and their training pitch on the site. The restricted site required an entrance podium to be built over the railway line, one of the two practice pitches to be removed and the existing pitch to be re-orientated, to enable the building footprint to be accommodated. In addition, overshadowing, rights-of-light and the impact of such a structure within a generally two storey high residential area, where the building almost touches its northern and southern boundaries, determined the unique organic form for the building envelope.
The Aviva Stadium is the first truly site responsive stadium of its kind in the world. Its form, mass, materials and aspect are defined by the site and its surrounds. The transparent roof is lowered to the southern sky to maximise the sunlight onto the high performance sports turf to ensure that the best possible playing surface is produced. The undulating transparent form is an ephemeral addition to the skyline of Dublin. Reflecting the colour of the sky and light conditions, the building’s façade is ever changing. The new stadium will provide an international arena worthy to host a future of sporting excellence. The design is the result of a joint partnership between Populous and Scott Tallon Walker Architects.