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Populous celebrates its 40th anniversary with a photo exhibit of its works

Architects

Populous celebrates its 40th anniversary with a photo exhibit of its works

The firm partnered with Getty Images to assemble more than 60 images, many capturing fan ardor.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | December 5, 2023
BBVA Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico, one of Populous' projects. Image: Jorge Torbaoda/Populous
The open roof of BBVA Stadium gives fans a stunning view of Monterrey, Mexico's, mountain range. The stadium was one of 56 images of Populous' work on display in New York City recently. Image: Jorge Toboada/Populous

When the architectural design firm Populous celebrated its 25th anniversary, it commemorated that landmark with a book of its projects. For its 40th anniversary this year, the firm wanted to do something more: to convey the excitement of fans who attended sporting and entertainment events in and around stadiums and arenas that Populous played a pivotal role in creating.

In partnership with Getty Images, Populous curated “Live Emotion,” an exhibit of striking photographs from Getty’s and Populous’ archives that focus on the firm’s work over the past four decades.

Sixty-one images in total were available to be mounted for the exhibit, which debuted at Noho Showrooms in London on November 25, and last weekend within 9,669 sf of gallery space on the first floor of The Starrett-Lehigh Building in New York. The exhibit, which has been open to the public, will also be shown in Brisbane, Australia.

(Click here to see the digital interactive gallery)

Photos trigger memories

The exhibit includes a diversity of photos of such well-known venues as O2 Arena and Wembley Stadium in London, Yankee Stadium in New York, the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, and the 132,000-seat Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Gujarat, India.

Earl Santee, Populous’ Global Chair and Founder, told BD+C that the motivation behind the exhibit was to “trigger” in its visitors at least a semblance of the personal emotions that sport events evoke in their fans. In fact, he pointed out how photography of sporting venues is more likely to focus on the athletes, performers, and fans than the building itself. That is even truer today, as many sports venues are being designed to be components of year-round destinations.

“We’ve always viewed our [sports and entertainment] buildings as mid-size convention centers,” quipped Scott Capstack, Populous’ Senior Principal and Design Director. Capstack and Santee also pointed out that some newer sports and entertainment venues can have as many as 20 to 25 “mini destinations” like restaurants, performance spaces, gift shops, and so forth, all with the potential for creating memories for visitors.

Yankee Stadium, New York City. Image: Christine Radecic/Populous
The $2.3 billion Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009. Populous (then known as HOK Sport) was the architect, Thornton Tomasetti the SE, and Turner Construction the GC. Image: Christine Radecic/Populous
Climate Pledge Arena
A WNBA game at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, whose roof design takes its cue from the city's famed space needle. Image: Steph Chambers/Getty Images
CommBank Stadium, in Parramatta, Australia, west of Sydney, seats up to 30,000 people, It opened in April 2019. Image: Venues Live/Populous

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