We are a group of innovators, groundbreakers and visionaries. We are a global collective of architects, designers, technical experts and industry veterans. We are the people who create the places where millions unite.
Each project we undertake has a set of unique challenges it faces. Through listening, observing and collaborating closely with our clients we discover opportunities to amplify the character of a place or community. Our team’s international perspective brings together ideas from across cultures, activities, building types, events, and landscapes to realize a vision that connects fans with each other through their shared passions.
Over three decades and more than 1,000 projects, our team has built a business on building businesses. With our keen understanding of the industry, we harness that knowledge to create places and experiences that have a strong and lasting impact on communities. We unlock potential and generate durable revenue streams.
We design with futures in mind.
We design some of the world’s most memorable sports, civic and entertainment buildings, from Olympic stadia to groundbreaking live music venues.
Our clients have taken us all over the world, to design buildings for all kinds of purpose, in an all kinds of cultures. From the initial brief to the completion of the project, we work with our clients to understand exactly what drives them, providing creative, innovative solutions that result not just in imaginatively designed buildings, but places that make memories. Structures that bring people and communities together for unforgettable experiences.
Masterplanning & Urban Design
Masterplanning is about making the connection between buildings and their environments. By embedding them in a social infrastructure, our buildings act as catalysts for vibrancy, diversity and regeneration.
Masterplanning and Urbanism is about a belief in making sustainable, integrated environments where our buildings become embedded within a city’s fabric. At Populous we are not only interested architecture, we are also deeply interested in their contextual influence – how they act as a catalyst for vibrancy, diversity and regeneration within cities. Often urban environments are both relentless and ubiquitous, they are made up of a repetitive fabric of residential and commercial development that creates a monotony to the way inhabitants experience the city. It becomes a collection of development parcels linked by infrastructure rather than a sequence of connected places of different urban qualities and character. In parallel with this it is also common that the most important elements of social infrastructure such as sports, cultural and educational facilities are often banished to the periphery of cities where land values are less so that the city centre can be better utilized for more intensive revenue producing development typologies.
Whether social infrastructure buildings are for sport, culture, education or health their location within the city and the amenity and sphere of influence they have on the surrounding fabric is the basic DNA that underpins an urban structure. An attitude towards social infrastructure and its relationship to the fabric of the city should infuse the approach to masterplanning and urbanism. Through our experience of sport, culture and other types of social infrastructure we take the approach where these building typologies are the starting point for urbanism.
Our approach is to turn the process of masterplanning on its head and take the approach of ‘urban acupuncture’ to new and existing pieces of city and use the location and relationship between social infrastructure elements and how we use them to drive added value and character as the starting point. Urban acupuncture is the starting point for creating vibrant and sustainable places within cities. By embedding sporting, cultural and educational buildings in to the fabric of the city we make them more accessible to the population and maximise the sphere of influence of these facilities in terms of the vibrancy and diversity of the cityscape but also in terms of the inherent value that they bring to the surrounding areas where people live, work and shop.
Regardless of whether it is about one or a number of different elements of social infrastructure, these building typologies spread their sphere of influence not only on a local scale but also on a wider more strategic level across a city. They become part of the character of a city, its’ sense of place and even the identity of the city. For this reason we consider the location of social infrastructure and its relationship to the city to be the fundamental building block of urban structure rather than something to be retrofitted at a later date.
Event Design & Planning
The world entrusts its most celebrated events to Populous. Why? Because we put the fans first, turning events into experiences and visions into reality.
Populous has more event experience than any other design company in the world. Our multi-disciplined team of specialists has a portfolio of over 400 major event venues and 90 global events, including 10 Olympic Games and sporting spectacles such as the FIFA world cup and the NFL Super Bowl. This gives us a unique insight into the demands of major events – we have the expertise to guide any event from inception to implementation, in a cost effective, time efficient manner. Each one of those events gives the visitor a unique experience – and, importantly, lasting memories.
Brand Activation extends a brand's power to communicate. We add reach and meaning, build visibility and memorability, and reinforce key associations. Unlocking the latent potential of sports and entertainment brands.
Populous Activate is our new design service. We design architecture and interiors, wayfinding and signage, graphics, interactive media and exhibits. What’s more, we know how to make these things embody a brand. We don’t just slap a badge on a building as an afterthought – we stay true to a brand’s essence and turn it into an enduring, memorable and relevant experience.
In reality, sustainability is more than just positively impacting the environment; it can improve the bottom line and create public goodwill.
At Populous, we believe that high performance buildings go beyond considerations for the environment and must address the places, people and experiences that together form the foundation for buildings to be embraced and cherished by their communities. The combination of design, construction and community analysis highlights opportunities unique to each project, including careful consideration of the site selection, user experience, community engagement, operational efficiencies, life cycle costs and legacy impacts. Our efforts in the integration of sustainable design is more than certification, it’s about making responsible economic and environmental design decisions embedded into every step of the design process.
Architectural firm Populous has been awarded the full design contract for the renovation of the historic Pepsi Coliseum in Indiana.
Soccerex are delighted to announce that Christopher Lee, Senior Principal of global design specialist Populous and Steve Revell , Commercial Director of world leading security provider Rapiscan, have both confirmed their participation in the conference programme for this year's Soccerex Global Convention - 20-26 November 2011, Rio de Janeiro.
The main arena at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will be designed by global design company Populous, formerly HOK Sport, and will seat almost 40,000 people.
A new US$400 million stadium will be built in Incheon, South Korea, for the 2014 Asian Games, to a design created by 2012 London Olympic stadium designers Populous.
Stadia are often built for a major event. Rod Sheard of Populous explains how the key to designing sustainable stadia is attaining the right mix of global and local to create iconic buildings that are environmentally sustainable and a well-used resource for local communities after the event is over.
Manny Pacquiao, the New York Cosmos, NASCAR vs Formula 1, hel-skiing and Cirque du Soleil.
Cheerleaders as sidelined athletes, sports statistics, bull riding, and redesigning golf courses for big hitters.
Women in sport, blind downhilling, the rise of Native Americans in lacrosse and female cage fighters.
Surfing, baseball at the people's ballpark, and just how fast can a man run?
Roger Federer and the new golden age of tennis, commercial goals of soccer, and India's fever pitch about cricket.
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