Home to the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, this 2Mft2, 66,965 seat stadium features column-free sightlines, extra wide concourses, and 114 luxury suites, as well as administrative offices and other support spaces.
The stadium’s most striking element is its cantilevered steel structured roof, clad with a translucent Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric that covers the upper deck. Strategically placed raker beams and boomerang columns support the roof with secondary “x” bracing for lateral stability. Arup worked closely with the construction manager to design an effective structural system that made best use of local resources and accelerated construction.
Creating the roof
The iconic Paul Brown Stadium roof required a complex pairing of elegant design and functionality. The project’s architects desired a light-looking structure that would meld with the Cincinnati skyline while also sheltering 65,000 seats. Ultimately, the signature swooping roof was created through the precision manufacturing of steel and fabric, allowing for diffused light and a silhouette that blends seamlessly with the sky.
Arup used 750 tons of steel to achieve its vision, and to secure not only the curving canopy, but also the lights, sound system, and catwalk for the stadium. The tilted canopy tapers off to 45ft-wide from the 70ft-wide centre in order to drain rainwater. Twin box-section boomerang columns that support the cantilevered canopy are prestressed, enabling them to resist wind uplift from the roof.
The rest of the stadium is also configured with the fans in mind. We eliminated the end zones to allow fans and passers-by outside of the stadium to catch a glimpse of the action. The last two bays of the upper seating bowl cantilever 60ft to create column-free sightlines. Finally, the architects limited the noise level and foot-traffic vibrations of the crowd to an acceptable din, subtly ensuring the comfort of Paul Brown Stadium’s occupants.