handle
top_graphic bottom_graphic
Feb 10, 2022 By IIDA HQ
Behind SoFi Stadium with Amanda Trimble of HKS
Amanda Trimble, IIDA, of HKS talks about her work designing Super Bowl LVI venue SoFi Stadium, and using region, fans, and culture to create an incredible fan experience.
By IIDA HQ Feb 10, 2022
Published in Articles

Unparalleled. Revolutionary. A beast of a project. A lot has been said about SoFi Stadium, the massive indoor-outdoor space, that quickly became the Holy Grail of sports and entertainment design, and now host of Super Bowl LVI (2022). Nestled in nature on the former racetrack grounds of Los Angeles' Hollywood Park in Inglewood, CA, the eco-friendly complex, specifically designed with sustainability in mind, is an homage to Southern California—from stadium design and landscaping, to food offerings.

“It's not about designing individual spaces, it's about creating a greater fan experience—thinking about the journey from your car to your seat,” says Amanda Trimble, IIDA, ASID and HKS Vice President and Interior Designer, a key part of the team that brought this to life. Trimble believes in a holistic human-centric approach to interior design that emphasizes research and technical excellency to achieve innovative solutions. Luckily, so does HKS, an interdisciplinary global design firm that has expanded its team beyond architects and interior designers, to include researchers, urban designers, scientists, artists, anthropologists and more, with one thing in mind: to change people’s lives for the better.

Trimble loves every minute of what she does and it shows. Here, she talks about the design process, the challenges she faced, and redesigning the fan experience in the most authentic way possible.

1
Amanda Trimble, IIDA, ASID, Vice President and Interior Designer at HKS
Amanda Trimble, IIDA, ASID, Vice President and Interior Designer at HKS
1
View from the 2.5 acre park surrounding SoFi Stadium. Photo by Nic Lehoux
View from the 2.5 acre park surrounding SoFi Stadium. Photo by Nic Lehoux
1
Entrance to the indoor/outdoor SoFi stadium. Photo by Bruce Damonte
Entrance to the indoor/outdoor SoFi stadium. Photo by Bruce Damonte

More than a sports and entertainment destination, SoFi Stadium is an homage to Southern California. Can you talk about what makes it an iconic civic gesture and in what ways it provides an authentic SoCal experience?

The building itself is iconic but the intent was to also invest in the amenities outside the building, such as the 2.5-acre plaza and lake park, which really gives something back to the greater community that can be enjoyed by all. That is what truly makes this project unique

SoFi Stadium celebrates the essence of Los Angeles and Southern California. As the first indoor/outdoor stadium, it really takes advantage of the amazing weather. Not only does it capture the region’s love of the outdoors, it also embraces California’s leadership on sustainability. The landscaping, designed byStudio MLA, encompasses the geography of the region by creating a series of five microclimates around the building letting each side speak to a different part of California.

The diversity of L.A. foodie culture is also reflected: Each bar along the Level 02 Concourse highlights a different aspect of the local food scene. There's sushi, a champagne bar, burgers or mexicali tacos—all of those things are a nod to different foodie neighborhoods. I mean, we could just serve hamburgers and hotdogs, right? But that wouldn't necessarily reflect all that L.A. has to offer. We wanted to create an experience that felt authentic.



Below: Landscape designers Studio MLA drew from the geography of the region creating five microclimates throughout the building. Photo by Nic Lehoux

1

How did you first get into designing for sports and entertainment?

I've been with HKS for just over eight years—I actually came straight out of school. My first project was the Vikings stadium (U.S.Bank Stadium in Minneapolis). I came into the world of sports design for an internship and haven't left since because it's amazing—I didn't even know. You kind of get the opportunity to touch a lot of different things within our venues: we have, of course, the level of amenities which kind of speaks to hospitality design, then there's training facilities and medical spaces so we get just a tiny touch of healthcare design, there's office buildings and team offices, and we have tiny bit of commercial, too. It's really diverse even within its own sector and the fan experience thing is so cool—just the amount of research that we do to figure out what brings people to places and how to give them the most enjoyable experience. I love that aspect of it.

With HKS I've had amazing opportunities to work on some iconic buildings. The moment when you land in a city and you're in an Uber on your way to the project and you hear people talking about how amazing the project is—that's incredible.

1
Elevating the stadium beverage program experience with a champagne bar. Photo by Bruce Damonte
Elevating the stadium beverage program experience with a champagne bar. Photo by Bruce Damonte
1
Photo by Bruce Damonte
Photo by Bruce Damonte

What parameters do you have to consider when designing and redesigning the fan experience?

How to create an authentic experience—researching region, fans, culture—to get to the essence of what makes a place unique. We like our spaces to feel like an extension of the city and the people as if it’s always been there.

What were the greatest challenges you had to face bringing this project to life?

The volume of ‘premium’ presented a fun, and uniquely Hollywood, challenge. (There are seven different suite experiences, 260 luxury suites, 13,000 premium seats, and 12 individual club spaces.) The sheer amount of design and thought that went into these products took incredible coordination and thousands of people to complete. HKS is a full-service firm so not only were we designing but also documenting the entire project—and handling the construction administration. It’s just a beast of a project!

How about your most rewarding moment?

The completion of the performance venue was my most rewarding moment. It was my “baby” from the beginning and seeing that develop has been an incredible experience.


Below: Interiors of SoFi Stadium photos by Nic Lehoux

1

What are you hoping the fans will take away from the SoFi Stadium specifically?

I hope fans take away a sense of pride in knowing that this was designed for them—and that they can call it home.

What is your personal favorite place within Hollywood Park?

My personal favorite, if we’re talking about the development, would have to be the performance venue and the balcony bar with its view towards the city, and overlooking the lake and plaza. Absolutely stunning. The space is incredible with the glass windows surrounding you and the amazing chandelier. As for inside the stadium, I don’t think there’s another space that captures the essence of the project better than Patio Club.


Below: Fans enjoying football at SoFi Stadium, designed for, and as a homage to, Southern California, photo by Bruce Damonte

1
Featured Articles
View All Articles
View All Articles