Stadium experts Populous have received planning approval for their redesign of a 32,000-seat venue in Belfast this week. Casement Park, an existing stadium for Gaelic football and hurling, is soon to be redeveloped and expanded into a 38,000 all-seated arena for the Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association.
Speaking on the news, Principal at Populous Mike Trice commented: “Our contemporary stadium design is sympathetic to the local environment and surroundings, whilst reflecting the history, ethos and commitment of Ulster GAA to promoting traditional Irish sports.
“We look forward to seeing this provincial stadium draw greater numbers of visitors to Northern Ireland to watch games and participate in conferences and community events, increasing participation in Gaelic Games and bringing local communities together.”
The stadium sits on a 12 acre site in Belfast in close contact with residential and retail buildings. In response to this, Populous has designed a plinth that responds to the local scale, a ‘cloud’ of translucent material that steps away from the adjacent buildings and an elegant truss to mark the stadium on the city skyline.
It is hoped that the redevelopment of the Casement Park Stadium will enable the facility to attract additional major fixtures and generate additional income through new sporting and non-sporting uses.
The new design incorporates 2,000 sq m of dedicated community space and 2,000 corporate level seats. The redeveloped Casement Park stadium is expected to open in late 2016 and it is planned for the stadium to host the 2016 Ulster GAA Senior Championship Finals.