Bjarke Ingels designs checkered sports complex in Texas

Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and local company Susman Tisdale Gayle Architects have designed the East Austin District, a stadium and entertainment complex in Texas inspired by a Founding Father’s approach to land surveying.

The 120,000-sq-m development will contain a 40,000-capacity outdoor bowl stadium with buildings surrounding it in what looks like a checkerboard pattern from above (pictured).

The design is inspired by the "Jefferson Grid", Thomas Jefferson’s way of proportioning land after the American War of Independence.

Built on the site of the current Rodeo Austin, the rodeo space will be renovated into a 15,000-seat arena, with the development containing shops, restaurants, workspaces, youth services and medical facilities.

BIG called it "the city’s first and only sports, culture and entertainment destination located east of Downtown Austin".

Rodeo Austin was founded in 1938, and is the fourth largest rodeo in the US with 300,000 people visiting for the main event each year.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG founding partner, said: "Like a collective campus rather than a monolithic stadium, the East Austin District unifies all the elements of Rodeo and Soccer into a village of courtyards and canopies.

"Embracing Austin’s local character and culture, the East Austin District is a single destination composed of many smaller structures under one roof.

"Part architecture, part urbanism, part landscape – the East Austin District is the architectural manifestation of collective intimacy – a complex capable of making tens of thousands of fans come together and enjoy the best Austin has to offer inside and between its buildings."

Images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

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