Search results for "soccer"

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Facades+ L.A.

Here's what to expect from Facades+L.A. this week
The 2017 Facades+ Conference in Los Angeles, presented by The Architect’s Newspaper, will kick off later this week, offering two full days of stimulating presentations, panels, and workshops. Day one —Thursday, October 19th—will showcase presentations by key regional and national industry leaders, including Deborah Weintraub, chief deputy city engineer for City of Los Angeles; Stanley Saitowitz, principal of Natoma Architects; Lorcan O’Herlihy, principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects; principals Julie Eizenberg and Nathan Bishop of Koning Eizenberg Architects; and Alice Kimm of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. The symposium will also feature panel discussions covering the design of SOM’s Los Angeles Federal Courthouse; changing perceptions of supportive housing covered in L.A.; advances in facade design that utilize computational research; and sporting facilities for the 21st Century. AN covered the panel presentations in a previous post earlier this month. Thursday’s presentations will also include sessions led by industry product leaders Vitro, Neolith, and YKK, as well as opening remarks by AN’s Diana Darling. Day Two—Friday, October 20th—is dedicated to industry-focused workshops with both morning and afternoon sessions. Russell Fortmeyer of ARUP will lead a discussion on zero-energy facades. Another morning session will cover advanced detailing for high-performance envelopes and is led by Chris O’Hara of Studio NYL, Brad Prestbo of Sasaki, and Stan Su of Morphosis. Another will explore facade design using the software engine Dynamo that will be led by Daniel Segraves and Gijs Libourel of Thornton Tomasetti. Some afternoon highlights include a stick-built curtain wall intensive led by Bart Harrington of YKK and a discussion on the future of ETFE skins by a team from Walter P Moore. For more information and to buy passes for the conference, see the Facades+ website.
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Building Blocks

Bjarke Ingels's LEGO House is finally open to the public

The last brick has been placed on the long-awaited LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. Yesterday, the Danish royal family was on hand to open the building to visitors. Before the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)–designed structure, the city was only famous for architectural splendor of a different (smaller) scale. Now, however, Billund finally has something BIG to shout about.

Flying into the city, it’s hard to miss the almost three-acre LEGO House. The building’s vibrant terraced squares of red, yellow, green, and blue are easy to spot beneath the clouds despite the equally colorful LEGOLAND and Lalandia water park nearby. This aerial view, which will be the first for many who visit the LEGO House and a rare instance where aerial photography and renderings are relevant—hints at the modular structure's 21 rectangular volumes, waiting to be discovered on the ground.

Though colorful from the sky, the LEGO House is predominantly white at the street level. Ninety-thousand white clip-on ceramic tiles wrap around the building, each abiding by the proportions of a two-by-four LEGO brick. This reference to the toy-maker's most iconic brick can be found more explicitly in what Ingels calls the LEGO House’s “keystone.”

Sitting at the top of the building, the keystone features eight oversized circular studs and tops out the LEGO House which rises to just over 75 feet high. Rather surprisingly, this makes the building Billund’s tallest, though this isn’t exactly a tough achievement in the low-rise city.

Billund is very much a company town—something its residents aren’t afraid to admit. Around 3,000 LEGO employees work here, though not all live in the city, which had a population of 6,194 as of 2014. The city center is generally ignored by tourists who visit Lalandia and LEGOLAND, as those going to the latter stay at the LEGOLAND Holiday Village. This is not because the center is far away: You can drive around Billund in five minutes, or walk. The center just has very little to offer, with few restaurants and shops.

Billund Mayor Ib Kristensen is hoping the LEGO House will change that. “I don’t have any concerns,” he told The Architect’s Newspaper (AN). “The LEGO House will bring at lot of guests into the center of Billund and it will help other shops, restaurants,” he said, adding that he estimates the building will bring 250,000 visitors to the city every year.

With the municipality so reliant on LEGO, news of the company cutting eight percent of its workforce was not welcome at the start of the month. The cuts will eliminate 1,400 jobs worldwide, and Kristensen said this would mean 600 lost jobs in Billund. Despite this, Kristensen noted that LEGO House has created 180 new jobs and that the city’s “Triangle Region” has the lowest unemployment in Denmark, though this is partly because many travel into Billund for work.

Locals share the mayor’s optimism in spite of the grim jobs news. Tina Hald Kristensen, (no relation) who has worked in a sleepy cafe opposite the LEGO House for two years, is eager to see an influx in potential customers and revenue to the area. “I think it’s a much-needed positive addition to the city,” she said.

Despite its lofty ambitions and height accolades, the LEGO House is not imposing. BIG struck a sensitive balance with Billund’s topography and sprawling surroundings, while making the statement LEGO want to make.

Steadily rising cubic volumes create two corners that form an orthogonal cascading landscape that provides steps and seating. These rubber-surfaced areas will be open to the public 24/7, while the rest of the roofscape, which includes an assortment of play areas, will only be accessible during official open hours.

Considering the building is an almost all-white structure, with walls and terraces open to the public at all hours, the potential for it being a target of graffiti springs to mind. However, Hald Kristensen stressed that this was unlikely to occur. “Billund isn’t that sort of town,” she said. A wander around the area confirms that there’s no graffiti at all. Potential vandalism aside, it remains to be seen how the white tiles and other white surfaces will be maintained in their pristine condition.

It is in the white tile facade, however, where BIG’s details stand out. On the inside, the tiling continues, gradually pixelating into various shades as you enter different areas, most dramatically into black as you enter the basement.

Here, on the lower level, adults who are still interested in LEGO or played with the toy as children will find a nostalgic treasure trove. This area resembles a museum of the company, going back to its first product. Well-known LEGO and System products line the walls and old moulds used to make two-by-four bricks can be seen. Furthermore, an interactive database of almost all LEGO sets lets visitors scroll through and find their favorite.

Anna Manins, a local resident who is a mother of three, is more pleased that her children will have a place to keep them entertained in the winter when LEGOLAND and Lalandia close down. The LEGO House is ultimately a venue for children. Three hours away in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Ingels' Superkilen park is evidence that his work for children can stand the test of time. Completed in 2012, the park is still well-used five years on. 

Like Superkilen, the LEGO House uses color as a circulatory means. As denoted by the colored rubber on the terraces, four zones feed off an interior concourse where a shop, restaurant where LEGO robots serve food, and a staircase spirals round a LEGO tree that has carvings of the first LEGO products that were made from wood can be found. 

According to the firm, the Red Zone is for “spontaneous creativity and free-building”; the Green Zone is for "social activities" and “roleplay with your own characters and stories”; the Blue Zone is for “putting your cognitive skills to the test”; and the Yellow Zone is intended to “play with emotions.”

In these areas, children can see their creations come to life on CGI-animated screens and are encouraged to build with each other, contribute to other buildings which are added to throughout the day, race their own LEGO cars, and make stop-motion LEGO movies.

An interesting and unexpected activity is the role of the urban designer. In the Yellow Zone, modular blocks, limited in size to a square base, can be placed around a city-like grid. Custom-made creations can be built around pre-built fixed buildings such as a soccer stadium and concert venue. Similar to playing Sim City, the interactive grid responds to what is placed, demanding at times a particular typology—which you build—be placed in a certain area.

There is room for adulting here too. The accomplished work of certified LEGO builders of all scales —there are only 40 LEGO “master builders” in the world—are dotted around the building. Some are carefully curated moving scenes that tell a story. If you can find it, a depiction of LEGO owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen can be found having his picture taken with his leg in a cast (he broke it when the LEGO House's foundations were being laid).

BIG's plans for Billund don't stop at LEGO. Apartments for families, the elderly, and rental apartments designed by the Danish firm are set to be built in the city. LEGO is also planning a new headquarters in the city, courtesy of C.F. Møller, another Danish studio. For the time being, though, small bricks are the only thing anyone is talking about in Billund.

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Twenty20

Eight new cricket stadiums could be coming to the U.S. by 2020
"Howzat! Edged and caught at gully trying to drive a dibbly dobbly over silly mid-off." If that made no sense to you, you're not alone. The weird and wonderful game of cricket is still yet to fully catch on in the U.S., but one developer, Jignesh ‘Jay’ Pandya, from Philadelphia, has his mind set on such an agenda, planning eight new stadiums across the country. The Atlanta metro area, The District of Columbia, Florida, Texas, the New York City metro area, Illinois, and California, are the shortlisted regions Pandya is targeting for new cricket teams. In a big step toward realization, he and his firm Global Sports Ventures (GSV) have joined forces with JLL's Sports and Entertainment Group to build eight stadiums in U.S. cities by 2020, forming a new American professional cricket league. For now, the only images that have been released show a mixed-used complex for a site somewhere in Atlanta. The scheme, if built, will include restaurants and residential units. The incentive, however, may be more financial rather than for the love of cricket. GSV has said these eight stadiums will be a $2.4 billion investment, resulting the in the creation of around 17,000 jobs. Each stadium is touted to cost between $70 million and $125 million to build, while specific sites are still being scouted out. Cricket, of course, is played in the U.S. and exhibition matches are hosted on baseball fields, but a professional league would require teams having their own stadiums to avoid congestion and clashing. Furthermore, a cricket field is usually circular. It is bound by rope or markers with a circumference of 1,411 to 1,545 feet—that's about 1.5 times longer than a baseball field. Spectator capacity follows a similar ratio. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles can hold 56,000, whereas the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia has a capacity of 100,024. The real test, however, will be getting people to actually go, and even more pressing will be television coverage and lucrative sponsorship deals. According to 11Alive, a news broadcaster in Atlanta, only 35 percent of viewers said they would not attend a cricket game in the city. This answer, however, may relate to the growing Indian population in the U.S. Already hugely popular in India, Pakistan, and much of South Asia, Pandya believes the immigrant communities from those regions could become a strong base of supporters. Evidence for this lies in the fact that ESPN covers the Indian Premier League (IPL)—a cricket league that is admittedly the world's most popular—with a service costing $29.99 for the 2017 season. “We know our plans are ambitious, and GSV is committed to launching a professional cricket league in the U.S. by 2020,” Pandya told WXIA. The IPL runs a fast-paced 20 over (160 "bowls"—a.k.a. pitches) format of the game, known as "Twenty20." This is the fastest way of playing the game. While the sport is complex, history suggests that changing the rules to placate American audiences does not work. This can be seen most emphatically with soccer in the U.S. as recently as 20 years ago. Pandya's story sounds eerily similar to Jim Paglia's, an entrepreneur who, in 1993, had plans for a new soccer league in the U.S. He proposed 12 new soccer stadiums in American suburbs, initially targeting eight cities: Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Florida (the parallels continue). Until then, soccer in America had had a tumultuous time of it, with soccer leagues—both indoor and outdoor—starting and failing. Paglia proposed that each stadium would be part of a larger complex, similar to Pandya's scheme in Atlanta. He also planned a much bigger change, altering the rules to "put a product on the field that would draw more [American] fans." The changes involved dividing the pitch with colored chevrons, limiting player movement, including more than two goals and various goal sizes, and having long-shots scoring more "points" than close-range goals. Further still, players would wear different colored jerseys based on position. "ProZone Soccer," as Paglia called it, failed spectacularly. However, soccer in its standard form based on British "Association Football" is now popular. Since the U.S. hosted the World Cup in 1994 and its women's team has had much success, soccer is now the third most-played team sport in America with more than 24 million playing the game at some level. Crucially, it is well watched too. Numerous broadcasters show many live MLS games and new stadiums are now such a hot topic that a U.S.-focused email newsletter titled "Soccer Stadium Digest," run by American architecture firm Populous, exists. "There is the feeling in the industry that the leading firms are creating a uniquely American style of soccer stadium," a spokesperson for the digest told The Architect's Newspaper in an email last year.  Architecturally speaking, aside from standard tiered seating, cricket grounds boast a unique typology: the cricket pavilion. The pavilion was once (and in many ways still is) a very British typology. Its Victorian ornamentation—a stylistic extension of the railway—is a common feature in any English town and has been emulated across the former colonies in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe, all countries where cricket is hugely popular. It can even be found in Philadelphia with McKim, Mead & White's Germantown Cricket Pavilion which still stands today. Cricket in late 19th- and early 20th-century Philadelphia, however, was quickly usurped by lawn tennis. The colonial inflection is a hallmark of the game's roots, going back to Lord's Cricket Ground in London which opened more than 200 years ago, though it's no longer present in modern stadiums. It was at the Lord's Cricket Ground—the supposed "home of cricket"—that a new spaceship-like addition breathed fresh air into the stadium. Jan Kaplický, David Nixon, and Amanda Levete's Future Systems delivered the Lord's Media Center—, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 1999. Though that was nearly 20 years ago, that and the more recent addition to the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester by BDP Architects suggest there is room for innovation and modernity in cricket stadium design. For Pandya to succeed, he needs time. In the opinion of this author, eight stadiums by 2020 is a tall order, but the marketing spiel of offering Twenty20 cricket by 2020 is indeed catchy. Along with that form of the game, Pandya also needs to bank on the longer versions becoming popular as a result. One day games (40 overs each) and five-day tests, where both teams bat twice, are commonplace. Moreover, even after time is up, the result can still be a draw. He also needs to stick to the rules. Changing the laws of the game? Well, that's just not cricket.
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Keeping It Modern 2017

Preservation grants to give these 12 modern buildings a future
The Getty Foundation has unveiled the beneficiaries of this year’s Keeping It Modern architectural conservation grant initiative, a program run by the foundation that aims to support projects of “outstanding architectural significance." The grants are awarded to ongoing conservation projects that promise to “advance conservation practice” with regard to modern and contemporary architectural relics. According to the foundation, many modern and contemporary works of architecture were built using experimental materials, untested building strategies, or were repaired badly over the decades. Consequently, contemporary preservation and stabilization strategies are urgently needed to prepare many modern structures for the future.   The grant initiative, which began in 2014, mostly focuses on providing funding for research and study purposes. It aims to fill in funding gaps for threatened structures, allowing their owners and operators to commission preservation, structural, or renovation studies. The initiative has afforded 45 such grants since its inception. This year's buildings span the globe and includes works in Japan, Morocco, India, and Kosovo. Here are the 12 projects that are sharing $1.66 million in grant funding: Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Coventry Cathedral Sir Basil Spence Coventry, England Built: 1962 Funds Awarded: $174,530 The Coventry Church of St. Michael by Sir Basil Spence was designed in 1962 as part of the post–World War II reconstruction effort in England. The original 500-year-old Gothic church was almost entirely destroyed during the war with only the structure’s outer walls, tower, and spire remaining intact. Spence’s plan called for saving these components and surrounding them with new construction. Spence added red sandstone walls, slender concrete columns, and gentle vaulting to complement the historic character of the original church. The church has been in constant use for over 50 years; The Getty Foundation’s grant will help the current church architect consult with conservation specialists on the creation of a comprehensive conservation management plan for the structure that will allow for repairs to take place. City of Boston, Boston City Hall Kallmann McKinnell & Knowles Boston Built: 1968 Funds Awarded: $120,000 Boston’s iconic Brutalist city hall was designed by Gerhard Kallmann, Michael McKinnell, and Edward Knowles in 1962. The controversial structure has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in recent years as Brutalist architecture has come back in vogue. The functioning civic building has suffered over the decades from various types of water infiltration, faulty concrete joinery, and other ailments; however, restoration efforts are currently under way. Grant funding will be used to evaluate the building and its attendant plaza, perform laboratory analysis of the concrete elements, and plan for the long term conservation of the building and its systems. Fondation Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG), Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex Jean-François Zevaco Sidi Harazem, Morocco Built: 1958 Funds Awarded: $150,000 The Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex was built in the years following Moroccan independence from French colonial dominance and represented the new nation’s desire to “create modern and forward-thinking gathering spaces,” according to the Getty Foundation. The Moroccan-born French architect Jean-François Zevaco designed the complex in 1957 as a series of bungalows and a market surrounding a central courtyard. The complex fell into disrepair by the 1980s; these sections have been permanently closed since. The Fondation Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion—the group that owns the structure—will use Getty funds to create a conservation plan for the site that will guide future interventions with the eventual goal of fully restoring the entire complex. Japan Sport Council, Yoyogi National Gymnasium Kenzo Tange Tokyo, Japan Built: 1964 Funds Awarded: $150,000 The Yoyogi National Gymnasium was designed in 1964 by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange as part of Japan’s bid to host the first-ever Olympic Games in Asia. The pioneering Metabolist structure is made up of a shell-shaped concrete exoskeleton that curves between the structure’s raked seating assemblies and a large spire. The structure has been continuously in use since and is being readied in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games when it will be used for indoor sports competitions. The grant money will be used to develop one of the first conservation management plans for a modern building in Japan, according to the Getty, and will also go toward studying the building’s materials, possible upgrades, and history. Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture Building Altuğ Çinici and Behruz Çinici Ankara, Turkey Built: 1963 Funds Awarded: $100,000 The Middle East Technical University Faculty of Architecture Building—located in Ankara and designed by the architect couple Altuğ Çinici and Behruz Çinici in 1963— is considered among the best examples of modern architecture in Turkey. The complex originally housed administrative offices and the university library but was converted in 1966 to house the university's Faculty of Architecture, though the International Style complex has deteriorated over the years due to its earthquake-prone location. The university will use grant funding to create a prototype restoration and conservation plan for the buildings that can be used to raise public awareness regarding the preservation of Turkey’s modern architecture across the country. Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), Museo de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand Lina Bo Bardi São Paulo, Brazil Built: 1968 Funds Awarded: $ 150,000 The Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) is an iconic work of Brazil’s strain of regional modernism by architect Lina Bo Bardi. The museum’s gallery spaces are lifted 26 feet above a large plaza by heroic concrete arches. The 110,000-square-foot building has suffered from water infiltration issues, concrete spalling, and structural problems over the years. Though those concerns have been addressed in previous updates, more work is needed and a long-term plan is lacking. Grant monies will go toward mapping out a long-term conservation approach for the structure that will integrate preservation and maintenance concerns for the building. NVA (Europe) Limited, St Peter’s Seminary Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein (Gillespie, Kidd & Coia architectural practice) Glasgow, Scotland Built: 1966 Funds Awarded: $148,120 Newly-conducted research and visioning have helped to outline a future for Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein’s St. Peter’s Seminary in Glasgow, Scotland. The complex has been abandoned since the 1970s and was placed on the World Monuments Fund’s 2008 list of most endangered cultural landmarks. In the years since, a plan to stabilize and convert the rough and geometric Brutalist complex into a performance space, cultural venue, and exhibition center has materialized. Before that can happen, the structure must be cataloged and mapped. Using grant money, researchers will delve into the various states of decay for each of the structure’s pre-cast concrete panels, analyze the building’s structural frame, and perform a series of test repairs and mock-ups to guide the building's future conservation. PEC University of Technology, Government Museum and Art Gallery Le Corbusier (Charles- Édouard Jeanneret) Chandigarh, India Built: 1968 Funds Awarded: $150,000 Le Corbusier’s Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, India is considered one of the architect’s master works. The structure was developed in partnership with Pierre Jeanneret as a test of their so-called “Museum of Unlimited Growth” concept, a modular approach based on a spiraling nautilus that could be added onto indefinitely. The building is in decent shape but requires long-term repairs to better adapt the structure to its local climate. Grant funding will be used to develop a research-based conservation and management plan that will aim to catalog urgent conservation repairs and establish a maintenance strategy. Price Tower Arts Center, Price Tower Frank Lloyd Wright Bartlesville, Oklahoma Built: 1956 Funds Awarded: $75,000 Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma is a 19-story skyscraper designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. An early example of the luxury condo tower, the building was first developed to house upscale residential and commercial functions. The building remained in use in its original configuration until 1981 when it was sold to Phillips Petroleum, which converted the structure to office functions. The complex was donated to the Price Tower Arts Center organization in 2002 and has been partially restored and renovated. The building became a National Historic Landmark in 2007; received funds will be used to develop a comprehensive, holistic management plan. Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Melnikov House Konstantin Melnikov Moscow, Russia Built: 1929 Funds Awarded: $120,000 The Melnikov House designed by Konstantin Melnikov in 1929 as the architect’s family home and studio. The structure is heralded as a key work of the Soviet avant-garde movement in architecture and remained in the architect’s family until 2006. The structure was transferred to the state in 2011 and now operates as a museum containing 14,000 objects. The barreled structure is studded with 64 honeycomb-shaped windows that let soft light into the building’s interiors and are based on principles of structural and material efficiency. The building will soon suffer from its own success—the projected number of visitors to the museum has created long-term preservation issues. Grant funding will aim to address these concerns while also performing technical research on the building’s roof, mechanical, and electrical systems, among other aspects. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Bauhaus building Walter Gropius Dessau, Germany Built: 1925 Funds Awarded: $160,047 The Dessau Bauhaus building, designed by Walter Gropius in 1925, is one of the most iconic modern structures left in existence. The sprawling structure exemplifies the modern movement’s approach to compartmentalized programming and exhibits a clear structural expression of modern materials like steel, concrete, and ribbon glass. The progressive art and architecture school was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and operates as a museum and research center today. Funding will be directed toward consolidating the site’s historical and technical records into a comprehensive database to “guide and prioritize future interventions,” according to the Getty. This effort will be complemented by efforts to analyze character-defining features like the building’s steel windows, nickel-plated fixtures, and some of the building’s legacy materials. Universitá degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza,” Stadio Flaminio Pier Luigi Nervi Rome, Italy Built: 1960 Funds Awarded: $161,000 Pier Luigi Nervi’s Stadio Flaminio is a canonical work of post-World War II modern architecture in Italy. The structurally-expressive, thin-shelled concrete structure was constructed in advance of the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. The 45,000-seat stadium was originally designed for sporting events but was often utilized as a performance and soccer venue as well. It was in use until 2011 when the stadium was decommissioned by the Municipality of Rome. The municipality is currently pursuing a conservation plan for the complex and will aim to study the building’s structural stability and innovative materials.
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Moneyball

David Beckham’s soccer stadium could be derailed by lawsuit

David Beckham’s planned Major League Stadium in Miami is facing hurdle after hurdle—first, there was the struggle to find a stadium site, resulting in a three-year long search before finally settling on a location in the Overtown neighborhood. Now, a wealthy landowner is filing a lawsuit to block the county’s no-bid deal to sell land for the stadium, as first reported by the Miami Herald.

Landowner and activist Bruce Matheson, who owns property near the stadium site, filed a suit last week against Miami-Dade County over the $9 million land sale to Miami Beckham United. Matheson claims that the land deal broke state law, as the deal was no-bid when Florida law demands that state land sales should go to “the highest and best bidder,” according to the Herald. Matheson also said that he would buy the three acres of land himself, adding that the county was underselling the property’s value.

A long-time supporter of the stadium, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez had previously avoided the state law by using an economic-development law that requires certain hiring requirement and community benefits to sell the land.

This is not the first time Matheson has blocked a major sports site. He previously prevented the expansion of a tennis stadium in Key Biscayne.

“It’s apparent that Mr. Matheson hates professional sports,” Michael Hernández, Gimenez’s communications director, said to the Herald. “He’s doing his best to drive out the Miami Open from Key Biscayne, and now he hopes to block Major League Soccer from coming to Miami.”

Beckham is still waiting for league approval, as well as a commitment from his investors to stay with the behind-schedule project. The proposed sale was approved in June, but the Beckham group has not yet put a down payment on the land. The deadline is mid-September to make the $500,000 payment, otherwise, the land will be lost and the search starts all over again.

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Recap

From a Facebook/OMA master plan to America's best new public spaces: AN’s can’t-miss top posts from this week
Missed some of our articles, Tweets, and Facebook posts from the last few days? Don't sweat it—we've gathered the week's must-read stories right here. Enjoy! Six of America’s newest and grandest public spaces From a highly anticipated river revitalization project in Chicago to a completely repurposed mall site in a tiny Connecticut town, projects revolving around public spaces are always feel-good stories. Who doesn’t enjoy a new, clean space to people-watch? Or better yet, catch some July 4 fireworks? The Architect’s Newspaper picked six completed projects that exemplify what a good public space entails. U.S Department of Transportation withdraws from $24 billion Gateway Program Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated commitment to building new infrastructure, the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) has withdrawn its cooperation from a massive $24 billion transportation project between New York and New Jersey Here’s the $3 billion project that will give Tampa a skylinenine-million-square-foot development will add Tampa’s first new office towers in almost 25 years and is set to reshape the city’s downtown. The project will take just under a decade to build. America’s biggest and best upcoming sports stadiums There’s nothing more American than sports, so for this July 4, we rounded up some of the biggest stadium projects in the works—from the world’s most expensive stadium to a celebrity-backed soccer field. Facebook and OMA team up for Menlo Park master plan Social media giant Facebook announced it had tapped international firm OMA to master plan its Willow Campus, a mixed-use neighborhood that will be located next to the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. “It’s exciting to collaborate with Facebook, whose innovation in networking and social media extends to urban ambitions for connectivity in the Bay Area,” said OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu. Hans-Ulrich Obrist on architecture, art, and Metabolism Curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist pens an essay on how architecture influences his work, starting by saying "My interest in architecture, from the perspective of my role as a curator of art, stems from the fact that architecture is the pre-eminent site for the production of reality, as it is uniquely oriented the toward the future, but precisely as a continual negotiation, or as a continually articulated struggle between the present, the past, and the future."
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Happy July 4!

America's biggest and best upcoming sports stadiums
There’s nothing more American than sports, so just in time for America's birthday, here’s a look at some of the biggest stadium projects in the works—from the world's most expensive stadium to a celebrity-backed soccer field. Ford Field (Detroit Lions) The Lions’ Ford Field Stadium will be undergoing a $44 million renovation of its interiors in a project led by Detroit-based Rossetti. “Our goal has been to bring the fan experience up to standards and beyond while customizing the design for Detroit,” said Jim Renne, sports principal at Rossetti and lead designer of the original stadium. Banc of California Stadium (Los Angeles Football Club) The 22,000-seat and $250 million stadium for the LAFC is now under construction. Designed by Gensler in a "European-style" arrangement with steeply-raked and sweeping seating areas, the open-air stadium is meant to bring viewers in a closer relationship to the field and players. Oakland Raiders stadium The Oakland Raider's have purchased a 62-acre-site in Las Vegas for their new stadium, which will be designed by Kansas City, Missouri–based Manica Architecture. The stadium, which is expected to cost $77.5 million, will seat up to 65,000 people. The NFL team's move to the new stadium follows two years of drama and they plan to move in 2020, just in time for the start of the season. Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland Cavaliers) As one of the oldest National Basketball Association (NBA) stadiums in use, the Quicken Loans Arena will get a $140 million refurbishment from SHoP Architects and Rossetti. The new design will see a new glazed facade which stretches the stadium’s footprint closer to the street edge, as well as an increase in space at the entrance and exit gangway areas. “The $140 million transformation, half of which the Cavalier’s will be paying, ensures that this public facility will remain competitive in the future,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a press release. David Beckham's Major League Soccer stadium Soccer star David Beckham is making moves with a Populous-designed, 25-000 seat stadium. What's catching attention, however, is not the celebrity attachment: it's that there won't be parking. Instead, fans are expected to use Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ridesharing, and plain-old walking to get to the stadium. LA Rams stadium Once completed in 2019, this stadium will be the world's most expensive, clocking in at a whopping $2.66 billion. Dallas-based HKS designed the new LA Rams stadium with more than 36,000 aluminum panels, which will have 20 million perforations punched into them. The perforations in the metal skin respond to the variable Southern California climate without the need for an HVAC system. This creates an effect of being outside, according to HKS. RFK Stadium In a $500 million vision to revamp the sites around the RFK Memorial Stadium after it's demolished in 2019, Events D.C., the city’s semi-independent convention and sports authority, unveiled plans to build it up with three multi-purpose athletic fields, a 47,000-square-foot food market hall, and a 350,000-square-foot indoor sports complex. “The RFK Stadium Armory-Campus—currently under-utilized—is poised to be transformed into a vibrant place that connects D.C. to the Anacostia River,” OMA partner Jason Long told the Washington Business Journal. Villanova University basketball stadium The university's basketball fans will have a new stadium to cheer on the Wildcats for the 2018-2019 season (in time for March Madness) when the renovation designed by Philadelphia-based EwingCole is completed. There will be a new lobby, concourse, and hall of fame greeting visitors. “It was important to Villanova that we celebrate the uniqueness of The Pavilion while creating an unmatched Division I basketball experience for the players and the fans,” said Bill McCullough, principal of EwingCole’s sports practice, in a prepared statement. The Texas Rangers' new Arlington, Texas ballpark Dallas-based architecture firm HKS has been chosen to design a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers baseball team. The stadium will be constructed as a public-private partnership between the team and the City of Arlington: It will serve as the Rangers’ home field and as a multipurpose arena for high school, college, and international sports. The Portland Timbers' stadium expansion Allied Works Architecture (AWA) has unveiled designs for a $50 million expansion to the 91-year-old soccer stadium in Portland, Oregon’s Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns soccer teams. The stadium expansion, according to information on the AWA website, is conceptually inspired by William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and will aim to add roughly 4,000 seats to the existing stadium complex.
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Blast Off

Lucas Museum receives final approval, moves toward 2018 groundbreaking
The Los Angeles City Council voted this week to grant final approval for the MAD Architectsdesigned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The most recent iteration of the project—sited in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, across the street from the University of Southern California, George Lucas’s alma mater—represented the third attempt to find a home for the itinerant museum-to-be. Previously, Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, who is the chairperson for DreamWorks Animation and a driving force behind the project, had tried for two separate sites, first in the San Francisco Presidio and later in Chicago’s Jackson Park. Both efforts were rebuffed by community activists. Last fall, the Lucas Museum board of directors made another push for California by selecting two potential sites in the Golden State, with a site on San Francisco’s Treasure Island and one in L.A.'s Exposition Park competing for the $1 billion museum. The Los Angeles site was chosen earlier this year amid much public fanfare on the part of elected officials. Some, however, fear the project will bring increased gentrification to the working class neighborhoods surrounding the park. The proposed 300,000-square-foot complex will rise five stories—roughly 115 feet—and contain a movie theater, lecture hall, library, restaurant, and digital classroom spaces, all in addition to its galleries. The boat-shaped structure, according to renderings, will be lifted off the ground via two large piers containing the ancillary programs mentioned above. Three floors of continuous gallery spaces will span above the piers, with a planted rooftop terrace capping off the entire complex. The museum will be underpinned by a 2,425-stall parking complex located underground and will be surrounded by nearly 11 acres of new parkland. The museum’s collection, according to the Lucas Museum website, will be divided into three categories: Narrative Art, Art in Cinema, and Digital Art. The museum will also make its debut with a $400 million endowment. The unanimous approval from the L.A. City Council paves the way for the museum to break ground in 2018. The museum is expected to open in 2021.
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Honoring Robert F. Kennedy

New RFK memorial project launched for D.C.'s RFK Stadium complex
The start of a new memorial project for assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium was announced by the District of Columbia's Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, the senator’s family members, and Events DC, on May 17. The memorial project is part of an overall plan for the RFK Stadium complex, a $500 million project spearheaded by New York City–based OMA. The proposal involves demolishing the current stadium and its parking lots, transforming the site into a 350,000-square-foot recreation and sports complex complete with three ball fields and a 47,000-square-foot market selling groceries. The memorial will honor the late senator, serving “as a place of remembrance and a place of teaching and practicing the civil rights and equality ideals Robert F. Kennedy championed,” Events DC said in a statement to The Washington Post. The 190-acre site sits on federal government land and will be tied to neighboring Kingman Island and the River Terrace neighborhood by three new pedestrian bridges. Events DC, the city’s official convention and sports authority, will be funding half of the project while city, hotel tax revenue, and team leases will cover the rest. “On behalf of my family, we are delighted… to begin this journey… in tribute to my late grandfather,” Maeve Kennedy McKean, the senator’s granddaughter said in the Events DC statement. “My grandfather lived his life every day in the service of others.” Officials hope that the redevelopment of the new stadium site and the memorial will begin and finish over the next five to seven years, according to Events DC. The D.C. United soccer club currently occupies the stadium and will continue to do so for another year, until the new BIG-designed stadium is completed.
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Parking? Pass

David Beckham's Miami soccer stadium won't include parking
Soccer star David Beckham is planning a 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium on nine acres in Miami. The one thing it won't have? Parking. In a city famous for its parking structures, this apparent omission may seem like a big deal. Representatives from Beckham's company, though, were eager to explain their thinking at a community meeting earlier this month. “We’re going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing,” Spencer Crowley, a lobbyist and lawyer for Miami Beckham United, told the Miami Herald. “We view this as a paradigm shift for the county as to how people get to large events.” In the spirit of soccer's arrival traditions, fans on foot would march from the nearest Metrorail station to the stadium, in Miami's Overtown neighborhood. For the drivers, Miami Beckham United would reserve 2,000 spots in the city's parking garages, hiring shuttle buses to bring spectators to the stadium. Another idea: A dinner cruise boat (yes) could also dock along the Miami River and fans would walk a few blocks to see the game. When the group showed preliminary renderings of the stadium to residents a year and a half ago, many complained that the volume appeared too bulky. New renderings, by Populous, show an airier design than the first, with a thinner canopy and more apertures to capture the Florida breeze. The stadium would open in 2021, with approvals for zoning changes expected to take a year. This is only the latest chapter in the quest to bring an MLS team to Miami. Last year, Beckham wasn't able to find an investor for the $300 million expansion franchise's home, but now, L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has signed on to the stadium, and the team could play in a temporary location during construction. Before it can move forward with MLS, though, Beckham's group needs an agreement to purchase the county-owned site for $9 million. The terms of the deal with Miami-Dade County let Beckham delay the purchase of the land until the City of Miami approves his group's stadium proposal. At a public meeting on May 17, area residents came out to voice their thoughts on the new proposal. Residents of the wealthy Spring Garden neighborhood expressed concern that their neighborhood would be overrun with people looking for a place to park.
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Best Seat in the House

Allied Works reveals Portland Timbers stadium expansion
Allied Works Architecture (AWA) has unveiled designs for a $50 million expansion to the 91-year-old soccer stadium in Portland, Oregon's Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns soccer teams. The stadium expansion, according to information on the AWA website, is conceptually inspired by William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and will aim to add roughly 4,000 seats to the existing stadium complex. The new scheme represents the stadium’s second expansion since 2011 and will consist of raked stadium seating stands topped by an open steel truss canopy along the existing stadium’s eastern side. The new expansion will also create a street-level public arcade area that will contain pedestrian-oriented spaces to be used before and after games. The expansion would boost the stadium’s capacity to 25,000 seats, a relief for some of the 13,000 fans currently on a waiting list for season tickets at the stadium. The team, according to Oregon’s Business Tribune, has sold out every Major League Soccer regular season and playoff game at the stadium. The arcade structure will serve to complete the park’s original master plan, first proposed by the office of A.E Doyle and Morris Whitehouse in 1926. That original scheme proposed a substantial arcade structure; AWA’s design takes a more contemporary approach and is made up of more open steel trusses. The stadium expansion comes after the recent completion of AWA’s designs for a training facility for the Timbers team in Beaverton, Oregon. That 6,000-square-foot project was built by Turner Construction and opened in 2016. Construction on the stadium expansion is due to begin this fall and is expected to be completed for either the 2019 or 2020 MLS season. The developer is Peregrine Sports LLC.
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Changing Leaves

Amid explosive change, L.A.'s Exposition Park seeks new master plan
The Office of Exposition Park Management, a state-run outfit that oversees Los Angeles's Exposition Park, has released an RFP seeking master planning services for the 160-acre expanse as a slew of forthcoming, large-scale projects foreshadow gentrification for the 108-year-old park. The RFP—accessible via California's state procurement page here—will generate the park’s first master plan since 1993, a process that launched the CO Architects- and Mia Lehrer + Associates-led renovation and expansion of the Natural History Museum and its grounds, among other projects. According to officials, the 1993 Master Plan has been mostly completed and now, as transformative projects like the MAD Architects–designed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Gensler-designed Los Angeles Football Club stadium come closer to reality, it is time to launch a new vision for one of L.A.’s most storied parks. In a press release, Fabian Wesson, Chairwoman of the California Science Center and Exposition Park Board of Directors explained, “We are very excited about crafting a 360-degree plan for Exposition Park,” adding that park directors sought a plan that “acknowledges the dynamic fabric of [the] community” while also accommodating the slew of new uses and structures being added to the park. Exposition Park and the neighborhoods around it have seen the beginnings of large-scale change and gentrification in recent years, as Downtown Los Angeles's residential and entertainment-fueled building boom spreads south and west from the city center. Downtown’s southwest corner—home to the L.A. Live complex, Los Angeles Convention Center, and soon, over 20 new luxury hotel and condo high-rises—is currently a sea of construction cranes. The Expo Line light rail that connects the financial and entertainment districts downtown to Santa Monica runs along Exposition Park’s northern boundary and opened in 2012. Next door, the University of Southern California putting the finishing touches on its $700 million USC Village project, which is scheduled for a Fall 2017 opening. As a result of these changes, there is a fear that the mostly-working class areas around the park will be gentrified, as the influx of blockbuster building projects spreads over and around the neighborhood. There are concerns that the new marquee projects—the Lucas Museum and soccer stadium, especially—are fundamentally changing and essentially-privatizing the character of the public park. Those new uses are not effectively taking up existing open space—the Lucas Museum is poised to add 11 acres of planted areas to what is currently a collection of surface parking lots while the LAFC Stadium is taking the place of the recently-demolished, Welton Becket–designed L.A. Memorial Sports Arena. The new structures, however, will add a heavy commercial element to a park brimming with museums like the California African American Museum, the California Science Center, and other amenities like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Shrine Auditorium. A mandatory pre-proposal conference is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, 2017, for those seeking to respond to the RFP. The RFPs will be due on June 16, 2017.