Mercedes-Benz Stadium: A Look Back at the Journey

Episode 44:

Bill Johnson, Senior Vice President and Design Principal for HOK Sports and Recreation and Entertainment Practice, discusses the design of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. He describes how his team found out about the project and how they won the design competition.

He talks about the challenges of designing such a large and complex facility, and how the stadium has become an icon in Atlanta. His creative and innovative approach ultimately won them the project. The architect leading the design of the new retractable roof stadium for the Atlanta Falcons describes the process of creating the stadium and the competitive landscape leading up to the final pitch.

Bill answers questions from STEAM students who created a replica of the stadium and shared with him their struggles with the design.

Topics of discussion:

[2:43] – When did HOK first find out about the lead to design the Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
[4:58] – What led HOK to accept the project?
[7:11] – Who were you up against for the project and what was your approach?
[10:33] – What happened leading up to the interview and what approach did HOK take?

STEAM students Q&A:

[14:04] – Building the roof of the stadium.
[16:30] – How the roof of the stadium opens.
[17:57] – Inspiration behind the Halo board
[20:18] – What were the roadblocks in the project and how it was overcome?
[21:40] – What was the hardest part of transforming the idea into the design?
[24:00] – How long did the design process take?
[24:59] – How long did you have to pitch?
[27:00] – How was the scoreboard designed

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