International design practice BDP has strengthened its capabilities in the sports sector with the acquisition of global stadia design specialist, Pattern.

Founded in 2009 by Dipesh Patel, formerly a director at Arup, Pattern has developed a portfolio of high-profile sports and entertainment projects. Pattern’s most high-profile project at present is its contract with English Premier League football club Everton for its new 52,888-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Everton yesterday (Thursday) confirmed that construction on the £500m (€581.9m/$688.2m) facility will begin on July 26. Pattern has also designed two of the stadia developed as part of Qatar’s staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Education City Stadium and Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (pictured), popularly known as Al-Rayyan Stadium.

BDP said Pattern’s widespread experience will complement the work it has completed at famous sporting venues including Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis Club, Aintree Racecourse and most recently gaining approval for the expansion of the Red Rose grandstand at Emirates Old Trafford for Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Pattern’s 40-strong studio of architects, technologists, computational designers, and support staff will operate as BDP Pattern and continue under the direction of Patel, who becomes a principal at BDP. Pattern is the latest business to join BDP following the purchase of Toronto-based architecture practice, Quadrangle in 2019.

BDP’s chief executive, John McManus (pictured above), who oversaw the acquisition, said: “With the eyes of the world on Europe’s finest football stadiums at the (UEFA) Euro 2020 tournament, it is with great pleasure that we announce our new partnership with Pattern.

“It is a first-class practice with extensive experience in designing the best, large-scale sports stadia across the globe and as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we are excited to bring the Pattern team into our continuous collective.

“Our international reach and interdisciplinary approach, combined with Pattern’s stadia and arena design expertise creates a significant player in the global sports sector and will result in the creation of some of the world’s most experiential and inspiring places to visit, watch and support the best sporting action.”

Patel (pictured above) added: “We are very excited to begin the next phase of our practice’s history by joining BDP. Our project designs are based on deep research, high-tech design and simple implementation. We have been fortunate to use this ethos designing of some of the best stadia in the Middle East, Peru, Canada and China, and we have recently secured approval for a major Premier League stadium in the UK.

“By being part of this global interdisciplinary practice with multiple office locations, our teams will be able to enter new markets and manage a much higher workload. The collaboration between BDP and Pattern also brings fantastic opportunity for our staff with greater scope for personal development and the ability to work in other sectors. These are very exciting times for us, and we look forward to a very successful future.”

The formation of BDP Pattern marks the second significant announcement in the sports architecture industry this week. On Monday, it was revealed that global architecture, design and planning firm Perkins Eastman had joined forces with multi-discipline architecture and design practice MEIS.

Perkins Eastman has more than 1,000 employees and experience in working on projects in 60 countries across five continents. Its portfolio includes healthcare, senior living, large-scale mixed-use, higher education and hospitality projects, and this will expand to cover more professional and collegiate sports practices following its partnership with MEIS.

MEIS had been involved in Everton’s new stadium, although founder Dan Meis confirmed in June 2020 that he was not “currently engaged” in the project following reports that Pattern would take up the role of technical architect.

Main Image: Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy