Louisiana Superdome
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Architect Curtis & Davis and Associated Architects
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Location New Orleans, Louisiana   map
Date 1970 to 1975   timeline
Building Type covered sports stadium/auditorum/convention hall
 Construction System steel frame, concrete base
Climate warm temperate
Context urban
Style modern
Notes Provides one of the largest clearspan rooms in the world - "the world's largest steel-constructed venue unobstructed by posts". Steel lamella roof structure.


Exterior overview, August 31, 2005. Tens of thousands sought refuge from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in the Superdome.


Contributions appreciated

Discussion Louisiana Superdome Commentary


Major media sources announced that evacuation of hurricane refugees from the Superdome and Convention Center was completed during Saturday.


"The Superdome resembled a scene from the Apocalypse on Wednesday morning, with thousands of refugees trapped in a hellish environment of short tempers, unbearable heat and the overwhelming stench of human waste.

"Evacuees told horror stories of assaults and the apparent suicide of a man who leapt from a balcony. Although none of the accounts could be confirmed by authorities, many refugees offered remarkably similar accounts.

"A sense of desperation overtook those stuck at the Dome as they waited in vain to hear where they might be taken next. Later in the day, authorities announced a plan to begin bringing ill evacuees to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, from which they would be taken by bus to shelters and hospitals elsewhere."

New Oreleans Times-Picayune Online

In addition to serving as a major venue for events in sports, entertainment, and politics, the Louisianna Superdome has served as an emergency evacuation shelter in times of need, including the disastrous storm and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The emergency shelter needs of New Orleans were badly overstressing the Superdome facility, which suffered roofs leaks from hurricane wind damage and like the whole city was without power and fresh water, and became surrounded by slowly rising water.

"Waist-high water surrounded the Superdome, the huge covered football stadium near downtown New Orleans that was being used as an emergency evacuation center for thousands of residents. With thousands inside, the Superdome has no electricity, no running water, toilets are overflowing, and there is nowhere for those inside to go. ...

"The downtown hospital was surrounded by two metres of water and considering evacuating its 1,000 patients.

"Mayor Ray Nagin said: "We probably have 80 percent of our city under water; with some sections of our city the water is as deep as six metres. Both airports are underwater."

CBC News, 2005.0830


"... And it rises 273 feet (82.3 meters) into the New Orleans Skyline like a spaceship.

"The stadium itself covers 13 acres. It reaches 27 stories at its peak, forming the world's largest steel construction room unobstructed by posts, filling more than 125 million cubic feet (38 million cubic meters). Some 20,000 tons (19,000 metric tons) of steel and 150,000 cubic yards (118,500 metric yards) of concrete were required for its construction.

"It requires 9,000 tons (8,100 metric tons) of air conditioning to keep the Superdome at a comfortable 72 degrees year round.

"The Superdome is more than merely another stadium; considerably more. Differences include movable stands which give it arena capability; a removable turf over a hard surfaced floor, allowing it to be used for a multiplicity of events; and crowning it all, giant screen television."


Diameter of Dome = 680 feet (210 meters)
Area of Roof = 9.7 acres
Elevation about 3 feet (one meter) above sea level (according to Wikipedia)

Total Square Footage: 269,000 sq. ft. (82,342 sq. meters)
Main Arena: 166,180 sq. ft. (50,685 sq. meters)
Convention Concourse: 76,711 sq. ft. (8,261 sq. meters)

New Orleans has an average annual rainfall of 57 inches.


Louisiana Superdome, Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA 70112

Sources on Louisiana Superdome

"Disaster Engineering", by Kevin Matthews, ArchitectureWeek No. 254, 2005.0831. pN1.1.

"Katrina Disaster Continues", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 255, 2005.0909. pN1.1.

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Web Resources
Links on Louisiana Superdome

SuperDome.comthe building's official website

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