SoFi Stadium is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood, CA. It opened in September 2020 and is, with 3.1 million square feet, the largest and the first "indoor-outdoor" stadium in the NFL. It is also the home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams who will host Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals on February 13, 2022.
Inspired by Los Angeles Rams Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke’s vision for an iconic piece of architecture and entertainment destination, the international architecture firm HKS designed the centerpiece of a 298-acre mixed-use development with retail, commercial office space, a hotel, residential units, and outdoor park spaces. The complex features a 70,000-seat stadium, a 2.5-acre plaza and a 6,000-seat performance venue situated together beneath a canopy of more than 3,000 translucent ETFE panels and 34,000+ perforated anodized aluminum panels. What’s remarkable is that each of these panels is unique, creating a pattern with curving geometry in a way that no two panels are the same.
HKS envisioned a roof that would be visible from planes landing at nearby Los Angeles airport. The aluminum panels were contoured around the support trusses which formed the perimeter of that window into the stadium. Each of the aluminum panels was uniquely sized, shaped and perforated to showcase a smooth surface and to enable air flow, acoustics and structural support. Changes happened often through the design phase and individual changes had a cascading effect on the rest of the roof and skin.
Because these panels were being fabricated off-site, the digital files needed to be coordinated through the contractor, fabricator, and City of Inglewood. The HKS team used Rhinoceros 3D, a commercial 3D computer graphics and computer-aided design application software, to create the geometry. Typically, a designer might have deprecated those design files to 2D sheets, but the scale, complexity and systemic nature of the design obviated such an approach not to mention the fact that the construction team was on a tight schedule to get the project approved before the 2020 football season.
To meet the challenge of communicating the design intent and ensuring that the project would be built as planned, developers at HKS worked with the California State Architecture Board to develop a digital authentication tool and data repository that supported a direct-to-fabrication workflow. This digital tool fingerprinted and collated each revision of the 34,000+ individual files.
The application further allowed all stakeholders to access project information, including the contractor and fabricator who could advise on the financial and supply chain impact of proposed modifications to the Model of Record. The process also eased the project approval – the city accepted a stamped and sealed Model of Record in digital format in lieu of drawings. Once permitted, the fabricator Zahner began construction without delay using the same files as the ones used through the design and approval stage.
After HKS had delivered the project successfully, they considered starting up an independent company offering their newly developed software. At the same time, the architecture firm Cuningham worked on a project with complimentary technology. Both companies joined forces and Concert was born.
Concert is an independent software company built and funded by some of the largest A/E firms in the United States. Together these firms represent hundreds of millions of dollars of professional fees and billions of dollars in delivered projects. Led by designers, architects and technologists, Concert is on a mission to enable digital project delivery and bring trusted data exchange to the entire project team. Learn More About Concert
James is an expert in the set-up and structure of large, complex capital projects using Lean and Integrated Project Delivery to drive highly reliable results.
He has negotiated IPD contracts and delivered over $650M in complex healthcare projects as an Owner's Representative with multiparty contracts, aligned team incentives and collaborative delivery models.