When Atlanta and their NFL franchise announced that they will be breaking ground to a new stadium, they wanted to shoot for the stars and redefine the benchmark. After nine years of planning and constructing the new stadium, Atlanta last night debuted their first big game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. While it's a magnificent piece of architecture, one feature in particular catches the photographer's eye more than others. Let's take a look!
The architecture firm, HOK, was given the challenge by the client to innovate on the highest level of every aspect of the stadium that seats 71,000. They found inspiration by the Romans on how sunlight passes through the oculus on the roof of the Pantheon. The aperture-like roof is made up of eight triangular ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) “leaves". The semi-transparent roof open and closes like a camera using 16 tracks; the roof takes eight minutes to open and close. As you can see, the roof mimics a lens' aperture from going 'wide-open' to a closed aperture.
Another innovative feature that debuted was their one-of-a-kind 360 "halo" video board that sits just below the retractable roof. It is the largest video screen in any of the world's stadiums which hangs six-stories high and is 1,075 feet around. There are a ton of astonishing details you can find out about this new stadium, including the 1,800 wireless points running dual-40-gig circuits that will hold enough bandwidth for 71,000 fans to watch a video on their phone simultaneously.
This piece of architecture and everything inside is truly remarkable and sets a precedent for future stadiums to come.