The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings franchise is aware what a heavy accumulation of snow can do. Late in the 2010 season, the Twin Cities were hit by a blizzard, and 17 inches of snow came to rest on the Metrodome’s air-supported Teflon and fiberglass roof. All the weight and moisture caused the roof to puncture and collapse. The stadium was repaired the next summer for $22.7 million.
For the team’s new stadium, which was designed by HKS Architects and is set to open next fall, the team is ensuring that the roof will hold up to rough northern conditions. U.S. Bank Stadium will have an ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) pneumatic roof, a durable, flexible material made of a polymer similar to Teflon, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. ETFE is 1/100th the weight of glass and can stretch three times its length without losing elasticity.
The ETFE pillows are still supported by air, but they are also backed by a steel structure and won’t sink due to a loss of air pressure. The panels can be punctured by sharp objects but are easy to patch, and the nonstick surface and steep angle will help prevent snow from piling high.
ETFE also is lightweight and translucent, allowing natural light to enter for a sense of openness. Domed stadiums of the past, like the Metrodome, were known for being dark and cavernous.
Roughly 248,000 sf of the roof will be composed of ETFE; the remaining portion will be a steeply-pitched hard roof, but sunlight will still angle over the entire field. According to the Vikings’ website, ETFE will not degrade when exposed to UV light. Altogether, U.S. Bank Stadium will cost just more than $1 billion to build.
ETFE has previously been installed at venues like the Beijing National Stadium in China, the Eden Project in Cornwall, U.K., and Allianz Arena in Munich.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 17, 2023
Aurora, Colo., recreation center features city’s first indoor field house, unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains
In January, design firm Populous and the City of Aurora, Colo. marked the opening of the Southeast Aurora Recreation Center and Fieldhouse. The 77,000-sf facility draws design inspiration from the nearby Rocky Mountains. With natural Douglas Fir structure and decking, the building aims to mimic the geography of a canyon.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 15, 2023
Georgia State University Convocation Center revitalizes long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood
Georgia State University’s new Convocation Center doubles the arena it replaces and is expected to give a shot in the arm to a long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood. The new 200,000 sf multi-use venue in the Summerhill area of Atlanta is the new home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and will also be used for large-scale academic and community events.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Feb 27, 2023
New 20,000-seat soccer stadium will anchor neighborhood development in Indianapolis
A new 20,000-seat soccer stadium for United Soccer League’s Indy Eleven will be the centerpiece of a major neighborhood development in Indianapolis. The development will transform the southwest quadrant of downtown Indianapolis by adding more than 600 apartments, 205,000 sf of office space, 197,000 sf for retail space and restaurants, parking garages, a hotel, and public plazas with green space.
Arenas | Feb 23, 2023
Using data to design the sports venue of the future
Former video game developer Abe Stein and HOK's Bill Johnson discuss how to use data to design stadiums and arenas that keep fans engaged and eager to return.
Arenas | Feb 14, 2023
A new communications platform aims to help sports and entertainment venues operate greener
GOAL (for Green Operations and Advanced Leadership) will give operators ways to gauge their sustainability journeys.
Giants 400 | Feb 9, 2023
New Giants 400 download: Get the complete at-a-glance 2022 Giants 400 rankings in Excel
See how your architecture, engineering, or construction firm stacks up against the nation's AEC Giants. For more than 45 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have surveyed the largest AEC firms in the U.S./Canada to create the annual Giants 400 report. This year, a record 519 firms participated in the Giants 400 report. The final report includes 137 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.
Steel Construction | Feb 3, 2023
Top 10 structural steel building projects for 2023
A Mies van der Rohe-designed art and architecture school at Indiana University and Morphosis Architects' Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa, Calif., are among 10 projects to win IDEAS² Awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Feb 1, 2023
University of Houston opens 'game changer' wellness center at downtown campus
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) recently opened its new Wellness & Success Center (WSC). The $39 million, 75,000 sf facility greatly improves the quality of the school’s exercise programs and areas dedicated to them. It also establishes a dynamic core and recognizable landmark for fostering and nurturing an on-campus community, according to a news release from SmithGroup, which designed the building along with HarrisonKornberg Architects.
University Buildings | Jan 30, 2023
How wellness is reshaping college recreation centers
Moody Nolan, a specialist in the design of college recreation centers, has participated in the evolution toward wellness on college campuses.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Jan 26, 2023
Miami’s motorsport ‘country club’ to build sleek events center
Designed by renowned Italian design firm Pininfarina and with Revuelta as architect, The Event Campus at The Concours Club will be the first and only motorsport-based event campus located within minutes of a major metro area.