John Rhodes is Design Director of HOK London Studio He is also director of HOK’s global Sports + Entertainment practice and is based in the London office. With more than 15 years of experience developing high-profile facilities for a range of professional sports and entertainment activities, John’s work helps to spur urban regeneration and economic development in local communities, and loves design that embraces innovation and magic enlightening people’s lives.
John works to advance the next generation of multipurpose sports and entertainment venues that become destinations in their own right. He develops solutions with input from stakeholders including local community leaders, municipalities, investors and fans. John has extensive experience in the design of facilities including Arena’s, Stadia, Formula One circuits, conference and exhibition centres, horse racing tracks and high-performance training facilities.
His current HOK work includes the design of the prestigious FC Barcelona Arena. As part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the existing city centre facilities, the 12,000 capacity highly flexible complex will create an organic building geometry that supports a seamless progression between the arena, an auxiliary court for 2,000 spectators, an ice rink and the FCB Escola academy training facilities.
He has recently completed a new 18,000 capacity Etihad Arena on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island Arena, and has a 8,500 capacity super theatre for Cirque Solei in Moscow & 18,000 capacity Valencia Arena on site. He is also developing designs for Gateshead Quays and new 12,500 capacity arena & 10,000m2 Exhibition centre in the North of England.
Among other prestigious projects, John helped lead the design of the Dubai 2020 World Expo, bid and concept masterplan. The 438-hectare master plan encapsulates the core themes of the expo and is based on a long-term legacy goal for transforming the facilities into a convention centre, arenas, theatres and performance spaces after the event.
His past work before HOK includes Leeds First Direct Arena, the new Silverstone British Grand Prix Circuit & Facilities, Circuit of Wales and the FIFA Club World Cup National Stadium refurbishment in Abu Dhabi. He also had a project management & technical role on the prestigious London Stock Exchange relocation to Paternoster Square.
Before joining HOK’s Sports + Entertainment practice, John was a principal at Populous. Originally from Yorkshire (UK), he graduated from Edinburgh’s Herriot Watt University/Edinburgh College with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.