Design Details: The Façade at Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Opening August 2

Every stadium, ballpark, convention center or airport that we design has distinctive features… those aesthetic attributes that make the public wonder about the story behind the design. At Great American Ball Park, it’s the gap; at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it’s the B&O Warehouse buildings. At Estadio BBVA Bancomer, opening August 2nd, it’s sure to be the gills lining the façade.

The façade serves a dual purpose – providing a distinctive nod to the heritage of the city while allowing critical air flow to enter and ventilate the stadium, keeping both spectators and players comfortable. The city has a rich history as a steel manufacturer and a brewing capital. It’s home to Tecate, with a brewing history dating back to 1891, something that is a source of pride within the city. As we held initial design meetings, we wanted to draw attention to that history so that the building would seem entirely of the place. We hope that in the future, if someone catches a glimpse of the façade, they will know the stadium and the city where it belongs. We selected materials that would honor this legacy and, as we began to sketch the façade, we saw an opportunity to shape the exterior to mimic, in some ways, the shape of both beer stills and steel mills.

Fachada Poniente Fachada Sureste Fachada Surponiente (2)

The exterior provides a distinctive look, with a metallic, steel armature that feels industrial and forward-thinking all at once and an undulating aluminum standing seam skin with perforations that will play a role in dramatically increasing air flow within the stadium. Crescent-shaped openings in the skin resemble the gills of a fish, varying in size and creating a more comfortable experience for fans. The gills will be illuminated at night, drawing attention to the design detail.

The stadium itself is a game-changer for the fan experience in Latin America. Never before has a stadium in the region done what Estadio BBVA Bancomer will do… create a completely hospitality-driven experience for fans, with access to a variety of seating neighborhoods and premium amenities while telling a genuine story about a city.

Often the best solutions are both design and engineering feats – opportunities to share a city’s history and provide key functionality. The façade and gills at Estadio BBVA Bancomer are no exception.

Read more about Estadio BBVA Bancomer, and check out the video version of the Design Details blog below.
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