Three digital stripes on walls and ceiling with orange and yellow gradient

Unrealized Project

Transforming adidas HQ into the World of Sport




With a desire to connect employees, visitors, and brand ambassadors to its mission, adidas engaged us in a year of intense design collaboration with C-suite stakeholders to envision the experience for its newest building at its global headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.


Deliver a powerful brand impression that puts adidas at the center of the world of sport—in the company’s most iconic location—with a digital-first solution and a rigorous commitment to authenticity.
Render of Adidas Global HQ space with horizontal bands of light and visual opportunity
Moodboard of Liverpool fan touching the Ansfield sign, a football player walking into the stadium, and an reference piece of lighting design
For reference only, credit: Liverpool FC via Getty Images; Carolina Panthers, 2013; unknown

Making Space for the Ritual of Sport

The formal and emotional aspects of a sports stadium drove our experience design. We leaned into the feeling of arrival, the compression of space and building anticipation, and the rituals within this competitive environment. We aimed to capture the energy of stadiums for both athletes and fans and translate it into inspiring, surprising digital expressions.
Render of Adidas global HQ building from far away
Map of space and experience throughout
Exterior render of the Adidas HQ at an angle
Interior render of hallway with stripes cut away revealing digital content featuring different athletes.

Concepting a Three-Part Journey to the Epicenter of Sport

The first part of the experience featured recessed, 180-degree digital “slices” that wrap the ceiling and walls, acting as windows containing impossible views into the world of sport. They also became a canvas for visualizing key match competition through real-time color battles, and a myriad of other visual modalities that defined a 24/7/365 storytelling strategy.

After arriving at the building’s core, visitors encountered a scoreboard-inspired double height digital facade using LED-embedded concrete that interprets the ever-changing aspects of sport - athletes in motion, the pop flashes of fan cameras, the ticking game clock and key statistics.

Lastly, we imagined a bleacher-inspired intervention to punctuate the bold staircase ascending through the atrium. Our design would digitally recreate the way light and shadow cut through the geometries of stadium stairs as fans populate a sports venue and move in unison.

Together, these integrated environmental designs formed a holistic digital experience that transported every visitor directly into the world of sport in an ownable and unforgettable way that stayed true to the adidas brand.

View of staircase from below, revealing light white digital content on treads.
Interior render of staircase against gray wall with low resolution pixels on the wall.
Screens in use showcasing a nighttime view in the center of a football stadium
Simple render of the space with blue bands highlighting screen and lighting opportunities
Diagram of single digital "slice" showing where sound appears within space.
Render of screen being used to show a swimmer in an underwater view
Diagram that shows how the camera position that creates the visual of the overhead swimmer
Diagram explaining the thought behind the three horizontal bands in the space
Close render of woman watching swimmer appear to move upward within digital slice.
Example animations of how gradients can be used to depict different statistics, such as time of possession and goals scored
Render showcasing how different colors representing different national teams and their real-time scores can be depicted in the space from a different angle
Render showcasing how different colors representing different national teams and their real-time scores can be depicted in the space
Render of color gradients used in horizontal banding in environment
Diagram showing how the gradients of the digital stripes change throughout the day, mimicking the sky outside.
Screens showing more dramatic, blurred silhouettes of sports athletes
Diagram showing the appearance of more people appearing outside of lobby than in, through the digital stripes.
Circular diagram of daily programming of the screens
Moodboard of underview of bleachers at a sports stadium, and the view from below of people standing on a frosted glass structure
For reference only, credit unknown
Moodboard showing how the digital stairs' content will appear in the space.
For reference only, credit unknown
Video of people walking outside, focusing on their shadows.
For reference only, credit unknown
Perspectival pencil sketch of large staircase at a dynamic viewpoint
Animated diagram of people walking through a lit staircase, with their silhouettes cutting through the lit steps
Animated diagram of light travelling through the horizontal light fixtures on the staircase
Closeup render showing low-resolution diodes with thin grid structure in between.
Moodboard of sports crowd and giant scoreboard
For reference only, credit unknown; Vintage MN Hockey
Render exemplifying the light structure that allows for different visuals to show up on the "scoreboard"
Diagram showing how video footage of a basketball game appears digitally and more pixelated.
Actual footage of the basketball game that is digitally manipulated in the other image.
For reference only, credit unknown
Drawing of the structural supports on the staircase and the digital wall behind it.
Colored render of large staircase in Global HQ space beside large scoreboard