Tag Archives: Populous

DScene: Serious crowd safety issues at Forsyth Barr Stadium

Following the All Blacks v South Africa rugby test on Saturday, Mike Houlahan, editor and writer for D Scene, highlights crowd safety issues at the Stadium.

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### D Scene 19 Sep 2012 (page 6)
D Scene Editorial: Act now to avoid stadium injuries
By Mike Houlahan
Forsyth Barr Stadium management got lucky on Saturday night after people were left bruised by a human logjam under the Mitre 10 Mega Stand at halftime in Saturday’s All Blacks v South Africa rugby test.[…]If there had been a crush, medical staff would have had severe problems getting to injured people. It also raises the question of how easily patrons could have evacuated the stand in a genuine emergency.
{continues} #bookmark


### D Scene 19 Sep 2012 (pages 3-4)
Stadium looks at rugby test crowd problems
By Mike Houlahan
Forsyth Barr Stadium management have vowed improvements will be made after long queues and a potentially dangerous halftime crush under the Mitre 10 Mega stand spoiled the first All Blacks rugby test at the new venue for some patrons. Thousands formed a mass scrum at halftime trying to get to bars, food outlets and toilets under the Mitre 10 Mega stand. Unlike at the other end of the ground which has permanent toilets underneath, patrons must shuffle the whole length of the narrow passage. For many, getting to the toilets and back took 20 to 30 minutes. Similar-sized crowds were in the stadium for the Rugby World Cup matches last year, but on those occasions RWC volunteers directed traffic.

Stadium chief executive David Davies said all issues with the game would be discussed at a debrief, including whether the addition of extra seating for the test had caused problems.

“If we had further stewards would that have made it easy? I’m not sure, it’s another set of bodies. But what we will do is look at the design for similar loading again.” Davies suspected a combination of factors led to Saturday’s problems. “We have had full Zoo attendances [the designated Scarfie zone] at other matches but didn’t have the same issues,” Davies said. “I think there were a couple of influences on Saturday that had we had the benefit of experience we would have done differently. Unfortunately, all over the stadium there were jams on the concourses resulting from people remaining in their seats to watch the presentation of the Olympians which we fully understood and supported. What that did was condense halftime down from 15 minutes to about eight, because people remained to pay their respects. Then people who wanted a drink and a comfort break all left at the same time rather than it being spread out.”

Davies said the stadium had come a long way since the Elton John concert and the Rugby World Cup, and was being better managed.

“We have taken on board constructive criticism we have received. We won’t be resting on our laurels, but Saturday was relatively quiet. Police were telling us they had 11 incidents with the public and the vast majority of the crowd were well behaved.” #bookmark #bookmark

Comment received at What if? Dunedin…

Submitted on 2012/09/19 at 7:23 am

The ForBarr stadium design is a catastrophe waiting to happen. The exits from the stands cause an immediate crush at the food outlets as people queueing cross those heading for the toilets. This happens in all of the stands. Ironically, the East stand (which has toilets but lacks food outlets) is the best.

This isn’t noticeable in normal use as the stadium is never full and does not have a boisterous or violent crowd. The design can cope with up to 15K crowds, but more than that is dubious. In an emergency, the best way to avoid the crush would be to get onto the pitch and wait for the groundsman to throw you out.

I posted concerns during construction several times, in particular, the fall hazard from the North Stand where at the ends, there is an unprotected fall of 15m.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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Why didn’t Populous tell Farry about this sooner *sigh*

/via @nzherald

### nzherald.co.nz 4:11 PM Saturday Jun 19, 2010
Olympic future is ‘stadium in a box’
The spectacular and expensive Water Cube and Bird’s Nest stadiums were focal points of the Beijing games, but the future of Olympic architecture may well be found in a box. Australian architect John Barrow, whose firm Populous is working on the London 2012 Olympic Games infrastructure, says a move towards sustainable games architecture could see the introduction of the “stadium in a box”. His idea is to design and construct something affordable, modular, lightweight and flexible, which can be modified and transported from host city to host city. AAP
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr


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Stadium designers justify the unjustifiable

### ODT Online Thu, 4 Mar 2010
Stadium designers explain their vision
By David Loughrey
It may not be a surprise they hold these views – they did, after all, design the Forsyth Barr Stadium – but Richard Breslin and Marko den Breems think the building near Dunedin’s waterfront is a winner. David Loughrey talks to the two men who took the stadium from an idea to a reality.

Worldwide, stadiums attract the same kind of controversy that has dogged the Dunedin example, with public funding of facilities worth hundreds of millions of dollars often unpopular with the ratepayers or taxpayers, who end up footing the bill.

Read more

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


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Populous for 2014 Winter Olympics + 2014 Incheon Asian Games

### Arch Daily 03 Oct 2009
2014 Winter Olympic Games Stadium / Populous
By Sebastian J

The global design practice Populous announced this week that they have been selected by the State Corporation ‘Olympstroy’ to design the main stadium for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Populous has also designed the master plan and overlay plan for competition and non-competition venues and facilities, and now adds designing the main 40,000 seat stadium to their expanding role on the 2014 Games. Populous is joined in the design consortium by Russian contractor Engeocom, and Botta Management.

Its sweeping form responds to both its coastal location and mountainous backdrop, whilst its crystalline skin engages with its surroundings by day, and provides an iconic representation of the colour and spectacle of the games when illuminated at night.
Link + photo


### Bustler Thursday, October 01, 2009
2014 Incheon Asian Games, Main Stadium Design by Populous
The competition-winning design of the main stadium for the 17th Asian games in Incheon, in South Korea, illustrates a new level of sustainable design in stadia in Asia.

The stadium will hold 70,000 people for the main event in 2014 and will reduce down to a single sided grandstand for 30,000 afterward as a People’s Park for the city of Incheon. The global architecture firm, Populous, formerly HOK Sport Venue Event, is designing Incheon stadium with local firm Heerim Architects and Planners.
Read more + photos

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


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A little from Populous on Otago stadium

If you haven’t seen this reference at SkyscraperCity blog today, UglyBob has made a good find. THANKS UGLYBOB. See below.

(This while posters at What if? were kindly providing debate in recoil at my posting interesting ODT comments here on stadium – gee sorry, but look, you started debating anyway just as I planned, hah – who would be your analysis slave or geeky accountant with snow dumps happening >>>> I’m off to them thar hills…bye.)


### Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal
Published April 20, 2009 : Page 21
U.S. design firms mine opportunities overseas
By Don Muret, staff writer

The global economic downturn hasn’t kept American sports architects from finding international work…

Populous is adapting Wimbledon’s transparent-roof technology to Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, the 25,000-seat stadium it is designing in Dunedin, New Zealand, for two rugby teams and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The $198 million facility replaces 126-year-old Carisbrook, known as the “House of Pain” for the home clubs that enjoy a distinct home advantage, Lee said. The roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium will be a fixed structure covering a natural grass field.
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No aspersions here

There are no aspersions whatsoever being cast on Ewan Soper or his executive work for the Carisbrook Stadium Trust by the two authors at What if?


Some call it a challenge but what a dreadful combination for a senior administrator to oversee in this next phase of stadium development: ensuring construction meets the completion deadline to secure the government’s $15M grant and a host of other complex requirements – with a case heading to the Court of Appeal in the preliminary period; and setting up a new events management business in a ‘too small’ town of competing and factional events and venues interests. OMG.

We know an early hearing at the Court of Appeal can be applied for, but what are the chances given the workloads of the Court.

Will the $15M offer of government funding to deadline be treated as a reason to move the Appeal up the priority list? We expect transparency and accountability from the Court around this – justice on the one hand and government pressure(?) on the other. Who wins? – and that’s before the appeal process itself gets under way.


In the global scheme of things, the Otago stadium can be seen as a relatively uncomplicated, low-value building. Is the CST job description likely to be solved by recruiting one individual? Or by utilising a tight team or partnership approach ‘at the top’?

DCC should be looking at Populous, formerly known as HOK Sport Venue Event (the firm rebranded recently). As we know, it’s one of the world’s leading design firms.

If Dunedin City Council wants the Otago stadium to actually work for its living, then the council shouldn’t go past recruiting from “the field” of proven experts it has an existing relationship with.

We know Populous costs, but so will getting it wrong by recruiting from anaerobic depths of the incompetence food chain.

Populous has some of the world’s finest and most experienced architects and event managers.

Populous is a global design practice specialising in creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences.

With clarity of vision and purpose, all of the people, portfolio, capabilities and expertise of the architectural firm formerly known as HOK Sport Venue Event continue as Populous.

Populous website
Earlier post: Who? HOK Sport

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