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Buro Happold seeks to deliver ‘world-best fan experience’ with Jakarta International Stadium

Engineering and consultancy business Buro Happold has stated the key importance of being embedded within the client group of a major sports stadium, as work nears competition on Jakarta International Stadium (JIS).

The project will provide the capital city of Indonesia with a world-class multipurpose venue and surrounding mixed-use development in Tanjung Priok District. Buro Happold worked in collaboration with Jakarta Konsultindo (JakKon) to prepare a commercialisation strategy and initial concept masterplan that seeks to deliver an exceptional fan experience within the 83,000-seat stadium, as well as bringing benefits to the community outside. 

The project combined design, commercialisation and operations strategies into an integrated development plan spread over three phases. Key to this was the work undertaken by Buro Happold’s Sports and Entertainment Consulting team, which aligned revenue generation with the overall business case and the design. 

This core service aims to bridge the gap traditionally left between financial consultants and designers, providing the client with a robust financial model and compatible design, reducing the risk of late changes and improving the return on investment. 

Crucially, Buro Happold says the JIS building aesthetic was driven by the local architectural team and their understanding of the local environment with its consulting team providing the technical knowledge to “unlock the project”.

Upon completion of a Phase 1 that delivered a technical baseline assessment of the site, Buro Happold’s Consulting team embedded itself in the client group to understand the venue drivers and requirements. 

Buro Happold’s sports consultancy leader, Chris Shrubshall, said: “Many clients are developing a venue of this scale for the first and only time. Providing an environment where all the possibilities, questions and aspirations can be vocalised and discussed is incredibly important. 

“It sets the foundation for the entire project and shouldn’t be underestimated. We spent a lot of time, in person, with the team in Jakarta to tease out of them their core requirements, before beginning to craft a design or business case.”

Buro Happold said that while a key outcome of this process was that the project had to be financially viable to avoid long term public subsidies, its objective was the delivery of a sustainable and socially cohesive project that has the ambition of becoming a benchmark for future urban development projects in Jakarta.

Once the client was comfortable with the parameters of both the financial model and design, the team commenced Phase 2, in which bowl designs and commercialisation strategies were iterated together to converge on a preferred option. The computational tools developed in-house by the Sports and Entertainment Consultancy team allowed for rapid iterations of design, with the following key metrics used to measure options:

  • Sightlines, view quality and distance to the pitch
  • Bowl aesthetic and arrangement
  • Number and distribution of hospitality seats
  • Capacity options for varying levels of event
  • Efficiency of core structures and MEP coordination
  • Ability to host MICE non-matchday uses
  • Available non-matchday retail space
  • Revenue generating potential

As the venue design settled towards a preferred compatible set of models, the sports consultancy team began Phase 3 where it looked at the wider proposed concept masterplan design and considered the overlay options for a major tournament event. With space on the site at a premium, the team identified additional sites local to the masterplan that could be used in an overlay condition for the duration of a tournament, as well as the spatial planning of the masterplan overlay itself.

Key Challenges and Solutions

As with all major projects, Buro Happold said there were multiple challenges to resolve as the financial and design processes took place. It added: “Although Jakarta is a thriving international city, there is not an established hospitality market, particularly for major events venues. Equally, the potential for the stadiums as a non-matchday venue was challenging to find similar local examples of.

“Our teams’ international experience, ability to provide broad research and data analytics allowed them to benchmark the Jakarta International Stadium against similar venues around the world. Local demographics, disposable income and potential event types were also accounted for in generating a low, medium and high range of pricing options and seat numbers for the hospitality offer. 

“Similarly, the local market for retail and dining was researched and benchmarked to establish an optimum split for the non-matchday spaces below the stadium podium level.

“Providing a stadium with the capacity to host AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and FIFA World Cup finals was key to the brief. In parallel with the baseline technical studies, our designers provided a FIFA certified state-of-the-art stadium bowl design. 

“The design focuses on delivering a fantastic fan experience, a flexible layout to host a variety of events, and the integration of a wide hospitality and retail offering. These aspects, combined with international standards of design, and ease of operation and servicing, delivered a valuable development concept. Integrating the engineering in to this bowl design gave the local teams a solid foundation on which to develop the detailed design.

“To unify the two different neighbourhoods, our concept masterplan for Phase 2 focused on creating a community sports-orientated development that bridged the physical barriers and delivered a socially inclusive district. The wider development includes socially inclusive facilities in the form of training pitches, sports centres, schools, open public spaces and community event spaces. It will also deliver more than 500 residential units of which 40% will be affordable housing.”

Delivering value

Buro Happold concluded: “Working alongside the wider project team, Buro Happold’s Sports and Entertainment Consultancy team laid the foundations to create a FIFA certified stadium that will deliver a world-best fan experience. Our experts guided the client through a complex process, while also implementing an innovative and financially viable strategy for the stadium and surrounding masterplan.

“The ability of our team to delve deeply in to both financial and design issues and resolve them efficiently and compatibly gave the client the confidence to build this extraordinary stadium.

“As a result, this project will not only deliver a landmark stadium but build social cohesion across the surrounding communities. The masterplan proves it is possible to deliver profitable and socially inclusive development in the city, while setting new standards for future projects that will contribute to the ongoing transformation of North Jakarta.”

Rendering: Buro Happold