Chris Lee

Managing Director @ Populous (EMEA)

Chris is the Managing Director of Populous for the EMEA region, a Senior Principal in the London office and a member of the firm’s world wide board.

Born on the east coast of Australia, Chris has degrees in both Design and Architecture. He has worked around the world for major international sports clients and designed over 30 stadia on five continents, including; the main stadium for the Sydney Olympic Games; the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff , which was Europe’s first stadium to have a moving roof; the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal Football Club; Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the national stadium for Ireland’s football and rugby teams. Currently Chris is leading the design team for Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in North London.

As part of his project work, Chris has been involved in the design of large-scale masterplans that seek to integrate the design requirements of stadia into the wider public realm. A good example of this would be the masterplan for the Emirates Stadium, which pulled together the requirements of Arsenal Football Club with the social infrastructure and housing requirements of the local council to create a cohesive urban development.

Chris spent six years in New York, leading the New York office of Populous. During this time he led the design of the AIA award winning 50,000 seat stadium for the Fútbol Club de Monterrey, in Monterrey, Mexico; the FIFA standard stadium for the American MLS team the Houston Dynamo in Houston, Texas and the 40,000 seat Estádio das Dunas for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has also worked on other public building types, including the Delhi Convention and Exhibition Centre in India and the Doha Education City Education Campus in Qatar.

Currently Chris leads the project team on the new 61,500 capacity Tottenham Hotspur stadium in north London, to be completed in 2018. The state of the art facility will have a retractable pitch to allow NFL games to be played during the football season without interrupting the home teams schedule.

Chris has led the development of a number of FIFA stadiums in the Middle East region, including the Lusail and Ras Abu Aboud Stadiums for the Qatar 2020 World Cup. This follows on from the expansion to the Doha COEX centre which increased its efficient and made it one of the most technologically advanced convention and exhibition centres in the world.

He is a regular lecturer at the New York University Graduate School and guest critic at the Bartlett school of Architecture in London and the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture in New York. Chris has been involved in drafting design and technical guides for FIFA, MLS and the UK’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (The Green Guide), as well as being a regular contributor to Building Design Magazine in London.

Chris is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world on the architecture of sports and entertainment buildings and their role in our cities and popular culture.