US Bank Stadium named best sports building at World Architecture Festival 2017 awards

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The World Architecture Festival 2017 held in Berlin, Germany, has awarded US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the title of best sports building.

The three-day celebration of the best in design was judged by a panel of experts and professionals from the architecture community, as well as professors and editors who selected winners from 434 projects in 68 different countries.

In the ‘completed building’ category, the US$1.1bn US Bank stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, took top honors, with its groundbreaking closed-roof design no doubt impressing.

Built on the site of the old Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome, HKS Architects chose to use ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) plastic for 60% of its roof – a move that may have kickstarted a revolution in stadia design.

Featured in the June 2016 issue of Stadia, the transparent material, originally invented in the 1970s as an insulation used in the aeronautics industry, covers 240,000ft² of the building allowing fans to look up and see sky and feel like they’re in an outdoor environment while being protected from the elements. ETFE manages to be cheaper, lighter and quicker to install than other options such as a retractable roof.

Architects of the 66,665-seat venue also had to solve the potential problem of Minneapolis’s harsh winters, and so pitched the roof to 14° to allow snow to slide off into a guttering system where it is melted. The roof pitch also creates space to allow air inside the stadium to be moved around to passively assist heating and cooling.

US Bank Stadium, which beat competition from the likes of the Anna Meares Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, and the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, opened its doors for the 2016 NFL season and will host Super Bowl LII in 2018.

Written by James Billington

November 23, 2017

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