Gone are the days where stadiums were practical and utilitarian in design.
Architects nowadays are designing iconic sporting stadiums that are bold, innovative and exciting.
With design inspiration around the world ranging from scaly dragons to parametric-equations, the modern stadium is not only a place to watch sport but one in which to be awed.
Here are five of the coolest stadiums in the world:
National Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Taiwan's dragon-shaped National Stadium definitely makes a striking first impression.
Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the stadium's 'dragon scales' are made up of 8,844 solar panels, making it the world's first stadium that is 100 per cent powered by solar energy. The solar panels provide enough energy to power the stadium’s 3,300 lights and two giant vision screens. Surplus energy generated by the stadium will be sold during the non-game period.
The multi-purpose stadium has a capacity for 55,000 people and was used to host the World Games.
Bottom two images from ArchDaily.
US Bank Stadium, Minnesota, USA
Currently under construction for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is a fixed roof stadium that will cost an estimated $US1.061 billion.
The stadium was designed by HKS Architects and features a transparent, asymmetrical angular roof. According to HKS Architects' website, the roof is designed to "shed snow", "provide natural light and reduce energy consumption".
It has a capacity for 65,000 people and is scheduled to host the Super Bowl LII in 2018.
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
The stunning curved facade of the 50,000-seat Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland is a shining example of what can be achieved with parametric design software.
The stadium was designed jointly by Scott Tallon Walker Architects and Populous.
One of the main design aims was for the stadium to fit in harmoniously with the surrounding neighbourhood. The roof at the northern and southern ends of the stadium both have dramatic dips, to allow sunlight to the nearby houses.
Designed by Cox Architects, AAMI Park was the winner of the 2012 World's Most Iconic and Culturally Significant Stadium Award in Doha, Qatar.
Victoria’s minister for major projects Denis Napthine commented at the time, “AAMI Park’s innovative bioframe roof and unparalleled spectator experience represents the next generation of stadium design around the world.”
The Al Wakrah Stadium will be built for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and will have a capacity for 40,000 people.
The stadium was designed by world renowned architectural firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, alongside architecture and engineering firm AECOM.
According to project director Jim Heverin, the shape of the stadium will be based on the curved form of the Dhow - a type of Arabian fishing boat. The structure of the stadium is designed to protect spectators and players from the harsh desert heat which can get up to 50 degrees in summer.