HOK recruit rugby stars to visualise stadiums of tomorrow
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HOK recruit rugby stars to visualise stadiums of tomorrow

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As architects, we need to design stadiums that maximise the energy of fans
John Rhodes, HOK director

Global sports architects HOK have collaborated with four international rugby players to discuss what is needed in the rugby stadiums of the future.

John Rhodes, a director of the practice’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment division, met with Jamie Roberts of Wales, Tim Visser of Scotland, James Horwill of Australia and Danny Care of England to learn from their experiences as players and fans.

HOK has released the conversation and findings in a new video. Among the topics discussed were the impact fans have on the game, how to bring them closer to the action, the design of rival changing rooms, and how fibre-optic turf and glass roof seating could revolutionise sports facilities.

“The players gave us exceptional insight into what affects elite athletes and as avid fans, they also provided an invaluable perspective,” said Rhodes.

“Any modern, iconic sports ground must provide an exceptional experience for fans. Their unique passion is fundamental to the sport and, as architects, we need to design stadiums that maximise this energy.

“Rugby supporters are especially unique. They are sophisticated fans who know and have experienced a variety of venues, which elevates the standards for a rugby stadium.”

Roberts said that “having played at most of the iconic rugby grounds around the world, it was great to speak with HOK about what made each special – or especially challenging.”

“What motivates you at your home ground is different from what inspires you when you play away,” he added. “However, I don’t just play rugby. I’m an avid spectator and the considerations for the fan experience are equally important. Some of the ideas we discussed would transform the game-day experience and I look forward to seeing how our conversation impacts where I play or spectate in the future.”

HOK have designed a number of the world’s biggest sports facilities, from stadiums to Formula One circuits and high-performance training facilities. They are currently working on the New Palau Blaugrana arena for FC Barcelona, the Mercedes Benz Stadium for US NFL franchise the Atlanta Falcons, and the billion dollar Little Caesars hockey and entertainment arena in Detroit.

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Global sports architects HOK have collaborated with four international rugby players to discuss what is needed in the rugby stadiums of the future.
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