Project Experience of Scott Kevin Jones
Reliant Stadium - Houston, TX
Architect of Record: Houston Stadium Consultants (Hermes Architects + LAN Joint Venture)
Design Architect: HOK Sport, Venue, & Event
Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore
Opening Day - September 2002
Houston NFL Stadium is a modern blend of composite metal panel, curtainwall, and precast panels. One of the things I got to do was produce the details which aligned all of the various joints and mullions across various crossing planes, parapets and soffit conditions. In the picture below you see the large ribs of the moving roof panels atop the exposed high roof truss. This building has a closing roof and a removable (palattized) natural grass field.
It is considerably taller than the old Astrodome adjacent to it. Below you see the ends of the trusses which support the rails for the moving roof. In the open position, these roof panels are cantilevered out over the sidewalk.
A construction poster with some good shots of the facility from the air:
Here is the field view from the endzone, the afternoon before the opening game against Dallas.
And at the start of the game... It began to dawn on us as we watched the inaugural game from our "party-concourse" high in the endzone, that it might be a bad thing if the Texans were to lose to their intra-state rival, Dallas. The crowd was full of energy and happily the Texans won.
Closing roof NFL stadiums have some enormous cooling requirements, especially in humid Houston. Here are some exposed ducts above the Upper Concourse.
The scoreboards at Houston are the widest in the NFL. The roof is closed in the picture below, and the first 60 feet or so of the roof is fixed (non-moving). That shelters the scoreboards and most of the seating bowl. It would take an incredibly heavy wind driven horizontal rain to get precipitation anywhere near the scoreboards.
One of my favorite things is to get up in the lighting catwalks or the highest accessible point in the structure. The catwalk in the high trusses had a metal grate floor which flexed as we walked on it, and the seats of the lower bowl were visible 10 stories straight down underneath us.
Below is a picture of the "Star Bar" in the club lounge. There's a story behind the four theme bars (star, spur, football, and horseshoe) related to the design schedule. But you'll have to ask me in person. The theme bars have been very well received and reviewed.
HOK S+V+E Project Showcase
Harris County - Houston Sports Authority profile
official Houston Texans 360 degree virtual stadium tour
Reliant Park facilities
Houston Chronical Special Section
Glass Steel and Stone "Global Architecture Encyclopedia"
Stadiums of the NFL
satellite imagery of Reliant Stadium at GlobalSecurity.com
Houston Livestock & Rodeo stadium site
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