Collection by Patrick Sisson

Well-Designed World Cup Stadiums

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Good architecture makes the beautiful game look even better.

Getting worked up over the results of a World Cup match is second nature for the football faithful, but that angst isn’t usually directed towards the pitch. But that was the fan response after Italy beat England Saturday at Arena de Amazonia in the rainforest city of Manaus, a stadium shaping up to be a massive folly after it was revealed that groundskeepers had to paint part of the field green. Stadium construction has been a fitting flashpoint in Brazil due to delays and cost overruns, but it obscures the effect that incredible construction, such as Arena Das Dunas, can have on elevating the game. Dwell collected some of the most innovative and architecturally sound sites that have played host to the world’s biggest sporting event, many of which have become permanent fixtures in the urban landscape.

Moses Mabhida Stadium (Durban, South Africa: 2010 World Cup) The grandiose steel arch stretching over this stadium,...
Oita Bank Dome (Oita, Japan: 2002 World Cup) Called the “Big Eye,” since the retractable roof appears to wink when...
Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico: 1970 and 1986 World Cups) It’s easy for this classic stadium to be overshadowed...
Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany: 2006 World Cup) Luminous and lofty, Allianz Arena lit up the 2006 competition with its...
Soccer City Stadium (Johannesburg, South Africa: 2010 World Cup) The “African Pot,” site of many vuvuzelas and...
Arena Das Dunas (Natal, Brazil: 2014 World Cup) Christopher Lee of Populous allowed beautiful, organic curves to guide...
Stade de France (Saint Denis, France: 1998 World Cup) While it was ostensibly built as a symbol of national unity and...
Stadio San Nicola (Bari, Italy: 1990 World Cup) Dubbed “The Spaceship,” Stadio San Nicola sits within a depression, an...
Ullevi (Gothenburg, Sweden: 1958 World Cup) Named after the Norse god of games, Sweden’s largest outdoor stadium may...
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