The Steering Committee of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has retained the services of Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/ for the design of the Grand Stade FFR. After several months of discussions with three competing groups, the FFR has made its choice of designers and has issued the first computer-rendered images.

The FFR Grand Stade will be much more than a stadium; the 82,000 capacity venue will become the ‘national stadium of rugby’. It will host all the French rugby home matches, and also accommodate conventions, shows and a broad range of sporting events thanks to its multi-purpose design. The retractable pitch will endow the FFR with the best quality pitch amongst all the major rugby stadiums in the world. The retractable roof will deliver a more intense atmosphere, it will ensure matches are played whatever the weather, and will create the largest roofed entertainment venue in Europe. Four large video boards are part of the multi-purpose facilities, allowing the broadcasting of replays and extra technical information.

The stadium has been designed to contribute to writing the future of the Fédération Française de Rugby and of French rugby. Its architecture echoes a fortified town delivering both hospitality and protection, with white stone echoing the quarries in Baux de Provence. Within this protective venue, the Plazas des Bandas, the general admission arcades, the multi-level lounges, the corner suites and the presidential box make a variety of outstanding and unique spaces that are there to catalyse the fervors of the French rugby fans.

The heart of the stadium lies under the protection of tall mineral walls and large glass windows looking onto the finely cut bowl, which will create a vibrant atmosphere. There will be between 17 to 20 events a year, including five to six games of the French national rugby team and the final of the TOP 14.

About Populous:

Populous is a global architecture, design practice and masterplanning consultancy that specialises in creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences. Over the past 30 years, the company has completed more than 1,000 projects around the globe with construction value exceeding US$20 billion. It has worked with 24 Major League Baseball franchises, 30 NFL franchises, 80 professional and civic arena clients, 40 soccer and rugby teams, 120 colleges and universities, 40 convention and performing arts centre clients, 29 equestrian clients and more than 30 major events.

 Populous’ portfolio includes such icons as Yankee Stadium in New York; the London 2012 Olympic Stadium; Soccer City in South Africa, the Nanjing Sports Park in China, the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, the new Lansdowne Road in Dublin and Sochi Olympic stadium in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. In addition to its stadia designs, Populous has been involved in the development of the masterplans for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Dubai Autodrome and the new Silverstone circuit, as well as working on overlay design for events including Super Bowls and the Olympic Games.

Populous has 500 employees in offices around the globe (Kansas City, London, Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Auckland, Rio, Denver, Knoxville and New York) that enthusiastically embrace the expertise they uniquely claim—drawing people together around teams, athletes, events, places, commerce, industry and ideas they wholeheartedly embrace and adore. www.populous.com