Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

  • Typologies

    Performance & Esports Venues

  • Building Activities

    Concerts, Events, Media

  • Services

    Architecture, Wayfinding

  • Completion


Sphere offers a first-of-its-kind immersive experience, bringing live entertainment to life through shared connection, emotion, technology and design. Transforming the Las Vegas skyline, Sphere sits at nearly one million square feet, making it the world’s largest spherical structure.

Challenge. What began as a spectacular vision by Sphere Entertainment Co., Populous helped develop into a tangible venue — one that erases the common perception of a live entertainment venue and unlocks the full potential of the creative mind.

As architect of record for the 17,600-seat entertainment venue, Populous collaborated with Sphere to create something completely new for the world of entertainment, arts and culture.  

Innovation. From the very first moment of visibility on the desert horizon all the way to a seat inside, Sphere captivates visitors with mirage-like visions made possible by its cutting-edge design and technology. Topping out at 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, Sphere has become an icon for both design and entertainment.

Sphere marries the very latest advances in multimedia technology and contemporary design to create an entirely new, immersive experience to enjoy entertainment. The unique and innovative design raises the bar for what live fan experiences can be.

Nicholas Reynolds / Populous Senior Principal

Welcome to Las Vegas
The venue’s exosphere is a dynamic shell that displays 1.2 million LED pucks. The Exosphere is assembled from more than 400 LED mega panels — each holding thousands of LED pucks — attached to a steel diagrid and stands as a wholly independent structure from the main venue.

Since its debut, Sphere’s exterior has taken the form of an eyeball, the moon, an emoji, and a basketball among other striking images. The first impression has been overwhelming, and the future possibilities for creative expression on this digital canvas remain limitless.

Journey To the Seat
Upon arrival via the venue’s pedestrian bridge connection from The Venetian Resort or the many other plaza-level entrances, guests emerge into a breathtaking Atrium space on the second level of Sphere. The 80-foot-tall space boasts columns that rival the diameter and double the height of those at the Pantheon in Rome.

Layers of balconies overlap and weave throughout the Atrium, creating a sinuous flow of movement and activation. Four central escalators accentuate the impressive scale of the Atrium, which holds two expo spaces, hundreds of concealed rigging points and a large material lift that provides flexibility to host a wide variety of events, activations and installations.

Along the journey to their seats, guests pass through section portals that provide a moment of scale change and noise reduction, resetting the senses and allowing for a dramatic introduction to the expansive seating bowl.

  • Seating bowl
  • Lobby

Point of Convergence
The bowl geometry is set out in an amphitheater-style configuration with all seats oriented to the stage. It is comprised of four seating tiers and two suite levels, designed to host live concerts, as well as unique immersive experiences. The lowest tier of seating is partially retractable and can be removed to increase the venue capacity or provide additional space for event production, adding versatility to the seating bowl.

Suspended above the bowl, a vast 160,000 square-foot LED ‘immersive surface’ wraps up, over and around the audience. Rising from the event floor and curving up and beyond the upper seating tier with an apex of 240 feet, the screen brings the visual experience to the entirety of the crowd.

While the bowl and immersive surface define the physical environment of the event space, an extensive array of experience-driving infrastructure lives just beyond the surface of the 16K resolution, 9-millimeter pixel pitch screen. Set just above the face of the screen, over 167,000 beam-forming speakers distribute the sounds of the experience from all directions with remarkable precision and further expand the interactive possibilities of sight and sound within the bowl environment. Integral to the screen, 228 mechanized facets can open and close to allow for rigging points to drop through to the event space.

The support for these audio and production capabilities exists from one of the six interior catwalk levels layered above the immersive surface. Each seat is immersed in spatialized audio and offers its own unique combination of video engagement with the screen and proximity to the stage. The point of convergence for Sphere’s bowl design is the guest, utilizing geometry and technology to transport the senses into a world envisioned by the performing artist.

The technology behind Sphere’s immersive surface provides limitless space for content creation, allowing artists to explore ideas not previously possible.

Gabe Braselton / Populous Principal

IMPACT. Sphere’s multisensory capabilities push the possibilities of storytelling into completely new territory, changing the nature of digital entertainment design. Unlike multipurpose venues that often accommodate sporting events first and artistic performances second, the goal was to implement as many advanced technologies as possible to put an artist and their audience’s needs first.

For as long as stories have been around, the ways in which we tell them have adapted to new forms. The one constant is that sharing stories requires more than one person. Our mission has always been to create spaces where people can do just that. Sphere’s vision was to expand the limits of storytelling beyond anything seen before in history — and Populous helped design the space that brings people together for this new experience.  

The public desire to engage with and share the story of Sphere illustrates its significant impact upon the architecture and entertainment industries. The world was searching for a vessel through which to tell the next generation of stories, bridging gaps between the digital and physical world, and now it’s here.

Facts and Figures
Puck LED Lights
1.2 million
Feet tall
Feet wide
Capacity amphitheater seated
Project Team
Connect with the designers

Emma Castro-Krivanek

Gabe Braselton

Stacey Fithian

Kyle Marsh

Jim Jamis

Bradd Crowley

Brent Roberts

Nicholas Reynolds

Maria Knutsson-Hall

Paul Shakespeare

Barbara Vasilatou