The Populous designed Climate Pledge Arena has opened its doors in Seattle, set to be the first ever net zero carbon arena in the world that relies solely on renewable energy sources to power the facility.
Engaged as architect by Oak View Group and the City of Seattle, Populous was tasked to design the arena with three goals: to create the most sustainable arena in the world, to responsibly revitalise a historic landmark, and to cultivate the ultimate fan experience.
Populous senior principal and architect Chris Paterson, based in the Asia Pacific headquarters in Brisbane, said the sustainable principles at the heart of the Climate Pledge Arena herald a new breed of major venues we will see all over the world.
He said: “The numerous sustainable practices and operations include on-site solar energy designed on the atrium roof, water conservation systems, and zero waste initiatives.
“The adaptive reuse of the existing 1960s building preserves many of the character-defining features while celebrating an important and cherished landmark for the city to host a variety of events, sports and music concerts.
“The fully-integrated transportation plan subsidises mass transit for fans with space for electric vehicle charging stations and bike valet services while also providing strong connections with the monorail.
“These sustainable design strategies set a new bar for the global sports and events industry and this is what Populous is aiming to do right around the world.”
Populous’ design preserves the site’s 67 London Plane trees that hold landmark status from the 1962 World’s Fair.
These trees maintain a massive canopy on the site, aid in carbon capture and connect surrounding neighbourhoods with the Seattle Centre campus.
Populous also designed the world’s first dual suspended arena scoreboards – a signature characteristic of the Climate Pledge Arena.
Paterson continued: “The dual scoreboards are one of the many examples of innovation in fan experience incorporated into Climate Pledge Arena.
“These are unexpected, incredibly dynamic and will allow fans to consume digital content in an entirely new way – they are the centrepieces to an entertainment experience unlike any other.
“These features are amazing and exciting, and we’ll be looking forward to the many ways Populous can develop these ideas over the next decade as Queensland prepares to host the 2032 Olympic Games.”
The arena’s name stems from Amazon’s naming rights partnership, which enlists the facility in the Climate Pledge, a global initiative that commits signatories to net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040.
Populous collaborated with the owners, a public-private partnership between Oak View Group, Seattle Kraken Hockey and Seattle Centre, as well as project manager CAA ICON and construction partner MA Mortenson to deliver the project.
The arena is set to become the world’s first International Living Future Institute-certified net zero carbon arena.