Populous' rendering of a eSports arena with a movable ceiling.

Arenas want—need, really—both flexibility and intimacy. But the dutiful black curtain that closes off upper-bowl seating only goes so far in reimagining space, the very reason we can expect to see the movable ceiling turn from concept to reality.

“I think you will see this happening in a large building from the outset,” said Brian Mirakian, Populous principal architect. “The biggest need t...

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