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Construction & Design

Buro Happold acquires Vanguardia in move to bolster stadium practice

Buro Happold has announced its acquisition of one of the world’s leading acoustics and audio-visual consultancies, Vanguardia Limited, and its subsidiary Crowd Dynamics International.

Having worked together on renowned sports and entertainment projects for more than two decades, the businesses have helped to deliver some of the finest venues and experiences in the world, including the new home of London’s professional Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (pictured top).

Respected as the world’s leading stadium engineers and recognized for enabling incredible experiences in the finest venues globally, the acquisition increases Buro Happold’s breadth and depth of expertise to help solve the complex challenges affecting stadia and entertainment venues.

It also creates a platform for the continued growth of Vanguardia – which specializes in acoustics and audio-visual technology at sports and music venues – into other new and exciting sectors and markets, as it strengthens client-consultant teams with the combined expertise.

From shrinking income – heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic – to the climate emergency and competition from other sectors for leisure time, many organizations in the sports and entertainment industries are seeking greater community or urban integration, or are looking to refresh assets to optimize the experience of their users and generate a commercial return.

Together, the Buro Happold and Vanguardia teams will work to solve these problems faced by stadium and entertainment venue owners and operators, while also improving the experience for fans.


“It is a really exciting time for Buro Happold,” said James Bruce, Chief Executive Officer. “Having worked alongside Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International for more than 20 years, it’s a natural step to formally bring them into the wider Buro Happold portfolio. We are enhancing our collective consultancy capabilities, creating significant opportunities for our clients.

“Our heritage of tackling global complex engineering challenges in the built environment puts us in the perfect position to advise and design exceptional solutions. This acquisition signals a period of rapid acceleration for our business and the industry as a whole,” Bruce added.

The collaboration also extends from Buro Happold’s work in integrated engineering design and consultancy, and large-scale visioning for sports and entertainment precincts and the communities they serve. Specifically, the acquisition enhances the standalone and combined services of acoustics and sound engineering, environmental advisory services, plus a broad range of electro-acoustic and technology offerings. It also provides a fully integrated mobility consulting capability encompassing inclusive design, waste and logistics, and crowd and traffic consulting.

Buro Happold and Vanguardia have worked together on some of the world’s leading sports and entertainment infrastructure, including Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the O2 Arena, Silverstone Racetrack, Qatar Education City Stadium, The Fisht Olympic Stadium at Sochi in Russia and the London Stadium. The firm recently completed TQL Stadium for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club FC Cincinnati.

The O2 Arena in London

Jim Griffiths, Director of Vanguardia, said: “We are all very excited by the new opportunities that now exist with our new partners including the global reach that it gives to Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International. This is a great opportunity for our clients and employees, and we welcome the opportunity of sharing our specialist expertise throughout Buro Happold.”

Matthew Birchall, Global Sports and Entertainment sector Lead and Partner, Buro Happold, said: “We believe that venues should deliver a rich, memorable and sustainable experience for their visitors, and the best possible business returns for their stakeholders.

“Together, Buro Happold, Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics will drive the creation of environments that deliver experiences to generate the best possible commercial and environmental performance,” Birchall added.

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