Creative reuse projects and green proposals give stadiums a longer life.
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Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mané Garrincha (Brasilia, Brazil: 2013)
Named after a national soccer icon and located in the center of Niemeyer’s monumental planned city, Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mané Garrincha could not have been a higher profile project. Castro Mello Arquitetos rose to the challenge with the world’s first net-zero energy stadium, an impressive feat of public design and engineering considering the massive energy spikes during big events. A combination of rainwater collection, solar arrays, shading, and a photocatalytic membrane that breaks down pollution makes this a key legacy of the recent surge in Brazilian stadium construction. By itself, the soccer field generates more solar energy than 11 of the competing nations.
Photo by Wikipedia Commons
Stadium Lofts (Indianapolis, United States: 2013)
If you rebuild it, they will come. Bush Stadium, the former site of the Indianapolis Indians minor league team, will play host to an extended homestand due to the Stadium Lofts rehab project, which transformed the Art Deco ballpark into a variety of private residences. The field, along with other elements of the park such as the scoreboard, provide one-of-a-kind selling points to what has become a centerpiece of the area near the 16 Tech district.
Photo by Core Redevelopment
Highbury Square (London, United Kingdom: 2006)
This former premier league field in London, a prime example of hallowed football ground, went fallow because the team was moving to a bigger stadium. Instead of being neglected, the area got a makeover, becoming a series of Art Deco apartments with a massive shared garden.
Photo by grahamc00 via Creative Commons
Apogee Stadium (Denton, Texas: 2011)
It’s fitting that a team called the Mean Green (which originated with famous alum Mean Joe Greene) would eventually play on a LEED Platinum certified field, the first in the nation. Designed by HKS, who know a thing or two about football stadiums after building one for the Dallas Cowboys, Apogee Stadium earns its green credentials from a series of windmills, permeable paving surfaces, and regionally obtained building materials.
Photo by University of North Texas
National Stadium (Kaohsiung, Taiwan: 2009)
Japanese architect Toyo Ito’s coiled dragon of a design, with solar panels for scales, was a bold statement for sustainable design when it was inaugurated for the World Games. Nearly 75% of the building’s energy needs are met with solar power, and the woven grid of pipes calls to mind not so much a reptilian coldness but a fabric wrapped around the crowd.
Photo by Yuting Hu via Creative Commons
London 2012 Velodrome (London, United Kingdom: 2012)
There’s a lot more serious building happening above this cycling track than its nickname, the Pringle, suggests. Hopkins Architects went into high gear to sculpt a record-setting track, but didn’t ignore green concerns. By utilizing rainwater collection, a canopy that lets in natural daylight, and a cable-supported roof that reduces steel usage, the building is both sturdy and sustainable.
Photo by Gary Bembridge via Creative Commons
Grand Parquet Horse Eventing Area (Fontainbleau, France: 2012)
While this horse racing track doesn’t necessarily present a blueprint for 100,000-capacity football stadiums, the incredible natural landscaping and environmental integration by Joly & Loiret make it a demonstration of less being considerably more. The gently sloping wooden structure isn't so much a building as an extension of the natural landscape.