Aviva Stadium

  • Typologies


  • Services

    Architecture, Wayfinding

  • Completion


CHALLENGE. Lansdowne Road has been the traditional home of rugby in Ireland since the first game was played there in 1876. When the existing facility no longer met the requirements of an international sporting venue, Populous was briefed to design a new 50,000-seat stadium, in a space that was smaller than that occupied by the old 25,000-capacity venue. The site was constrained on all sides, crucially by houses with ‘rights to light’ to the north and south, and the railway line running along the western boundary. These constrictions required the design team to develop a specific methodology of design and construction for the project.

  • The Aviva Stadium is a unique feat of parametric design
  • The stadium bowl is designed to fit within a very tight site, whilst creating a fearsome atmosphere
  • The project included a unique wayfinding design

INNOVATION. The chosen design solution kept the number of rail closures to a minimum by enabling phased demolition and construction. The complex 3D form was realized through the development of new parametric software into which the design team, the structural engineers and contractors could feed information simultaneously. This resulted in a fully coordinated structural and cladding model that then informed the construction. The dramatic form of the finished stadium rises in the east and west to give the majority of spectators the best viewing angles, while lowering in the north and south to minimize the impact on residential areas. The horseshoe-shaped main truss for the roof is supported on two columns at the north end, providing the stunning visual effect of the roof in suspension, hanging above the seating tiers.

IMPACT. The Aviva Stadium heralded a new era of stadium design, where complex curved forms can be designed and constructed using parametric design software. Its beautiful curved facade is an ephemeral addition to the skyline of Dublin and provides an iconic design that acts as a national symbol of modern Ireland. The transparent ‘shingles’ reflect the colour of the sky and the light conditions, so that the stadium’s stunning form is ever changing.

"Nothing compares to that anthem in a packed Aviva Stadium. It's pretty special, isn't it?"

Jacob Stockdale / Ireland International Rugby Player
LAMA Awards, National Impact, Best Civil Engineering Project, Best Architect
European EPSE Awards
British Expertise international awards, Sport Leisure and Tourism category
IPA Architecture Award, Leisure & Hospitality
WAF Awards, WAF-ONCE 2010 Accessibility Awards, World's Best New Building
WAF Awards, Highly Commended, Best New Sporting Facility
Project Team
Connect with the designers

Christopher Lee

Francois Clement

Mark Craine