The director of sport at Arup has warned that one of the challenges facing stadium design is the increasing amount of corporate space that has to be factored into designs.

J Parrish, one of the world’s leading stadium designers, said: “Increasingly, there is a requirement for a growing amount of restaurants and corporate space, and this affects the configurations of stadiums.”

He made the comments as the debate over stadium design is set to take centre-stage once plans for the Olympic stadium are revealed.

He said that over the past 20 years the change of use of stadiums had caused a significant shift in the way they were designed and built.

Parrish, who designed the Olympic stadium in Beijing, said that the fundamental challenge was to make sure that there was a business case for a stadium’s use, which was why premium space was important.

Discussing the technical difficulties in designing a stadium, he said: “Putting in place sightlines for the audience is a science and there is an art to getting it right.”

He added that another problem was the complexity of roof. He said: “A real challenge is always getting an appropriate amount of roof cover. It’s as simple as whether it is to be open or closed, but this is a big variable in the way you build it.”

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