Populous’ Top 10 Moments of 2012

2012 was a busy and exciting year for the designers at Populous with the opening of 14 facilities that were years in the making and dozens of new project wins. While it’s hard to pick just 10, here is our breakdown of the best Populous moments of 2012.

10. The 20th Anniversary of the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Camden Yards, perhaps the most iconic ballpark to be built in the past few decades, celebrated its 20th anniversary season in 2012. The facility, considered the primary influence for the design of more than 20 Major League Baseball stadiums following it, is a ballpark that has helped shape the game and the modern day fan experience. 20 years later, we’re proud of what Camden Yards has accomplished for the team, the fans and the city.

9.  Imagine That 2012
This year’s 10th annual Imagine That, a convention center workshop hosted by Populous, was perhaps the most successful yet. We discussed the future of the industry and convention center design with event planners, convention and visitor bureau representatives, chamber of commerce members and facility operations folks from across the nation. Here’s to another 10 years of collaboration through Imagine That!

8. An award-worthy year
We were fortunate to have a year where our facilities were honored by media, architects and organizations alike. A few of our favorite award moments? Accepting the award for Stadium of the Year for Sporting Park at the StadiumBusiness Awards; receiving an Honor Award at the AIA Kansas City Design Excellence Awards in November for our sustainable, demountable London Olympic Stadium;  learning that Amway Center was named Facility of the Year at the Sports Business Awards; and hearing that Populous-designed Pensacola Bayfront Stadium was named Ballpark of the Year by Baseballparks.com in August.

7. Collegiate openings
2012 was a big year for Populous’ collegiate group, who opened five facilities in the past 9 months. These openings included the renovation of the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome, the Academic Convocation Center at Xavier University of New Orleans and Hank McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech University and the opening of the new Trojan Arena at Troy University and basketball training facility at Kansas State University.  

6. International wins
In early 2012, Populous was awarded the design of a new convention center in Bangalore, India, a rapidly growing market. Just a few months later, we learned we had been selected for a master planning and architectural contract for the design of Pragait Maidan, a convention center located in Delhi, India. Other major international wins included the design of the Sydney Convention Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at Darling Harbour, Rostov Stadium in Russia and a new, large-scale equestrian park in Inner Mongolia, China. Populous continues to be a major presence across the globe with our work in the convention center, sports and equestrian markets.

5. Reaching a LEED milestone
With the announcement of BBVA Compass Stadium’s LEED Silver Certification in December, Populous reached an important milestone. The firm now has 15 LEED certified sports facilities and an additional 11 registered for certification. Other projects certified this year include Ford Center (LEED Silver Certification), JetBlue Park (LEED Certified) and Marlins Park (LEED Gold Certification), the first retractable roof stadium in the world to be LEED Gold Certified.

4. Success for the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium
Opening day for the Houston Dynamo in the new BBVA Compass Stadium proved to be just the beginning of the team’s success this year.  The Dynamo proceeded to go undefeated at their new home in their inaugural season and was the runner-up for the 2012 MLS Cup.

3. The opening of Christchurch Stadium
2012 was a year of embracing the temporary, from the demountable nature of the London Olympic Stadium to the opening of Christchurch Stadium, the first fully temporary stadium in the world. Populous was brought in to design Christchurch Stadium for the Canterbury Crusaders, a  professional rugby team in New Zealand, after their previous stadium was lost in a destructive and devastating earthquake in 2011. The temporary venue will last the team three to five years and allowed the team to open the season at home. A symbol of hope for a city devastated by natural disaster, Christchurch Stadium was one of the first signs of renewal in the infrastructure of Christchurch.

2.  Opening day at Marlins Park
Nine years after the Populous team began work on Marlins Park, the new stadium opened in April to rave reviews. Attending an opening day in a brand-new facility is always exciting and Marlins Park was no different; the new ballpark is uniquely Miami and seeing it fill up with local fans on that warm night in April is something the stadium designers won’t soon forget.

1.  The London Olympics
As the 2012 London Olympics commenced with the opening ceremonies in July, all eyes were on a stadium our team worked for years to create. Watching the most sustainable Olympic Stadium ever built come alive with 80,000 spectators reminds us the immense power that sport facilities have in drawing people together.

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