Football stadiums are no longer just structures to keep fans safe while watching the beautiful game. They are pieces of fine architecture, art even, dominating skylines and inspiring further creations.
In fact, the whole footballing world has been a giver to other forms of media and design. The game has been used to create much-loved screenings like the series of Goal films. It has given rise to two populations who argue between FIFA and PES – and it has even been used as inspiration to create sports games in the gambling niche.
But let’s get back to those innovative football stadium…
1. First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg
It is great when a football stadium merges with its surroundings by highlighting the cultural around it. That is exactly what this football stadium does, more often called Soccer City. The cladding of this stadium depicts African pottery packed with rustic earthy colours. The lower section of the stadium lights up to give the impression of a fire – warming up the big melting pot.
2. Allianz Arena, Munich
It is rare that a football stadium can attract people who don’t even enjoy the game. That is exactly what Bayern Munich FC’s stadium does due to its trailblazing design feature. Utilising special plastic panels as a sort of cladding, the stadium can change colour. It is the first stadium to be able to change colour into the home team’s colours, national colours and more. Even more impressive, these unique visuals can be captured up to 80 kilometres away.
3. National Stadium, Kaohsiung
The national stadium of Taiwan was probably never on your football stadium bucket list – but it really should be. This stadium is instantly eye-catching due to its question-mark-like shape, but it is when you get even closer do you realise the true innovation of this stadium. The whole structure is covered with solar panels and makes it one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums in the world. It merges cool aesthetics with design excellence.
4. Aviva Stadium, Dublin
The wavy roof of the Aviva Stadium is exciting but we have seen it before. What you won’t have seen before is the transparency of the stadium that allows light to flood through the structure and onto the surrounding houses. When building such a giant piece of architecture, neighbourhoods are often uprooted or angered. The stadium avoids those issues by enabling light to pass through the stadium and into the houses.
5. Sapporo Dome, Toyoira-ku
One Japanese architect has managed to create a multipurpose sports stadium that has a changeable pitch and is adapted to the climate. In the region, fans can expect heavy snowfall, so the stadium was made with a pinpoint accurate sloped roof to let it fall away and maintain its structural integrity.
The list above just goes to show that real stadium innovation is mostly happening further afield than Europe’s top leagues.