Enormous steel falcon touches down by $1.5bn Atlanta stadium

A 13m (43ft) bird of prey has found a perch front of the new US$1.5bn (€1.3bn, £1.1bn) home of NFL franchise the Atlanta Falcons.

The statue, which represents the team’s signature falcon, is the biggest bird representation in the world and the biggest sculpture ever created by Hungarian artist Gabor Miklos Szoke. It’s wingspan is 20m (66ft) long and it weighs 73,000 pounds (33 tonnes).

Millions of people will enter the the futuristic stadium, designed by architects HOK, from underneath the wings of the falcon – which is captured in the moment of touchdown with a giant football.

"I have always liked to spark a reaction, to think in monumental dimensions, to conquer new spaces with my animals and creatures, to bring them to life,” said Szoke. “This is the biggest project in my career. It is a special honour for me that I was asked to do this.”

The artist has worked on the project for over a year with his artistic partner Berta Hauer, a team of 150 people and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. The bird is formed of over 1,000 pieces of stainless steel and had to be built in sections of four pieces. These were shipped from Budapest to Atlanta for assembly.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to open 26 August for a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals; slightly later than the originally scheduled opening date, due to construction delays with the facility's unique retractable roof.

A flyover video of the stadium, filmed in December, can be viewed below:

Atlanta Falcons  Georgia  NFL  stadium design  art  HOK  architecture  Gabor Miklos Szoke. 
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A 13m (43ft) bird of prey has found a perch front of the new US$1.5bn (€1.3bn, £1.1bn) home of NFL franchise the Atlanta Falcons. The statue, which represents the team’s signature falcon, is the biggest bird representation in the world and the biggest sculpture ever created by Hungarian artist Gabor Miklos Szoke. It’s wingspan is 20m (66ft) long and it weighs 73,000 pounds (33 tonnes). Millions of people will enter
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The statue, which represents the team’s signature falcon, is the biggest bird representation in the world / Timi Szoke
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