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Circuit of the Americas

Capturing the energy of Formula 1 racing with thoughtful structural design

Project Facts

Location Austin, Texas
Owner Circuit of the Americas
Size 375 acres
Cost $400 million
Status Completed 2012
Certifications Austin Energy Green Building 2 Stars


Circuit of the Americas is the first purpose-built Grand Prix track and entertainment facility in the United States. Built around a state-of-the-art F1 circuit track, the facility is primarily designed to host F1 motor racing and will welcome classes of racing from motor power to human power.

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About the project

To meet a commitment to Formula 1 to open in time to host the U.S. Grand Prix in 2012, the facility was designed and built on an accelerated basis in less than two years. The complex demanded structural engineering excellence in every venue, including an iconic observation tower, a main grandstand with fabric-clad canopy roof, and a grand plaza with an amphitheater and concession roof structures.

This motor sports and entertainment destination features a stunning, 250-foot tall steel lattice diagrid observation tower that was inspired by the red streak appearance of tail lights racing in the dark. Eighteen red steel tubes cascade down the tower and support an ETFE canopy over the amphitheater stage below. 

The facility also features a three-story, 12,000 SF main grandstand that seats over 9,000 fans and is partially covered by a fabric roof. The ground level houses concessions, while the second and third levels contain a lounge and private suites. The main grandstand was designed to be an adaptable, modular system that can be arranged and adjusted to meet future needs of the facility.

The 27-acre Grand Plaza is bordered by the racetrack and contains a box office, reflecting pool, the Great Lawn, and concessions. It serves as an entrance both to the award-winning Austin 360 Amphitheater and the Observation Tower. The amphitheater, Austin’s largest permanent outdoor music venue, seats 6,500 and can accommodate up to 14,000 guests. It has served as the home of Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July picnic and concert since 2015.

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Texas Society of Architects: Design Awards

AISC: iDEAS 2 Award

Engineering News - Record (ENR) Texas & Louisiana

Citation of Honor, AIA Austin

Critics' Pick, The Austin Chronicle