Search results for "soccer"

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Here's the massive water slide planned for New York City's Summer Streets, when pedestrians take over Park Avenue
In a blatant attempt to please fun-loving New Yorkers, the city's Department of Transportation has announced that a massive Slip 'N Slide will be part of this year's Summer Streets program. The annual free event turns over Park Avenue, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, to pedestrians, cyclists, and now childhood attractions. Slide the City will be stationed at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan as part of a faux-beach orchestrated by Vita Coconut Water. The slide will stretch all of 270 feet, which makes it a pretty long slide, but is it long enough for New York? Probably not considering when Slide the City arrived in Salt Lake City last year it was a full 1,000 feet—four times longer than what New York's getting next month. A 270-foot slide is better than a zero-foot slide, sure, but come on Mr. Mayor, what gives? But Summer Streets isn't only about moderately-sized giant water slides. This year, the DOT also teamed up with Culture NOW to create self-guided public art and architecture tours. And if for some reason water slides and architecture tours aren't your thing, you can busy yourself with soccer events, a zip line, parkour training, arts and crafts workshops, and postcard decorating. Three weekend of Summer Streets are planned on August 1, 8, and 15. Check out the video below if you want to see countless Utahns sliding down their 1,000-foot-long slide, waving their selfie sticks with reckless abandon.
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Futbol for the People
Courtesy Gensler

The pigskin may be deflated for Gensler’s design for Los Angeles’ proposed football stadium, Farmer’s Field, but a venue for the other kind of football is alive and kicking. On May 18, Major League Soccer’s newest team, the Los Angeles Football Club, announced plans for a new soccer stadium and mixed-use complex in South Los Angeles.

Gensler’s stadium scheme replaces Welton Becket’s 1959 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which was the subject of a 2010 environmental impact report ordered by the LA Coliseum Commission to study a replacement. Demolition of the existing venue is expected to take a year and will require a significant amount of infrastructure and environmental abatement.

Gensler’s proposed soccer stadium for the Los Angeles Football Club ambitiously attempts to knit the 22,000-seat venue into the urban fabric and connect Exposition Park with the city-scale plan for the Figueroa Corridor.

The Coliseum Commission and the LA City Council are expected to sign off on the proposed design in July, giving a go-ahead for the estimated $250 million dollar project that includes a 22,000-seat stadium, as well as 100,000 square feet of new restaurants, office space, a conference center, and a world football museum. Plans feature outdoor site amenities, such as plazas that connect to the peristyle Coliseum and a wall of video screens ready to cater to MLS soccer and USC football fans alike.

Since this is LA’s first open-air professional sports arena built since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, the design of the roof is critical. C-shaped and asymmetrical, the steel and ETFE structure extends over the bleachers all the way to the edge of the pitch to provide protection from the western sun. There’s an expectation that the curved roof will also help keep sound from spilling out into the surrounding neighborhood. The canopy’s sections are strategically positioned to frame views of Downtown Los Angeles.


Located in Exposition Park, the new stadium complex sits between the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Figueroa Street. According to architect Ron Turner, director of sports and entertainment for Gensler, the design addresses both the street and the park. “From Dodgers Stadium at the north end, to the Staples Center, to our site in the south, the Figueroa Corridor is quickly becoming an important boulevard of the city,” he explained.

Although the wide boulevard, which boasts the occasional strip mall and a view of the 110 Freeway, seems an unlikely candidate for renewal, Turner references the MyFigueroa project, an initiative slated to transform three miles of the Figueroa Corridor into a “complete street” with a narrowed roadbed and protected bike lanes. As he describes a design that serves the South LA community, Exposition Park visitors, and event-goers, he envisions sidewalk cafes in the shadow of the stadium that are open to the public beyond game day.

Los Angeles Football Club hopes to have the stadium completed by the 2018 Major League Soccer season. Gensler was part of the team that designed Arena Corinthians for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, however this scheme takes inspiration from the English Premier soccer league. Even with 22,000 fans, it is meant to be an intimate experience: seats close to the pitch, steep raked bleachers, and separate entrances into the stands, so that each area feels like its own club. “It’s a stadium for the people,” said Turner.

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Bjarke Ingels opens this addition to his high school with a parkour video of a kid jumping off the walls
Since Bjarke Ingels graduated from Old Hellerup High School near Copenhagen, he's obviously become a bit of an architectural sensation. But that doesn't mean Ingels is too cool for school, specifically his former high school. In 2013, the architect created an undulating recreation center for the school's central courtyard that has a ribbed, almost cathedral-like wood ceiling. At the courtyard-level, the structure forms a a man-made hill where students can hang out between classes. And that was just the start of it. As soon as that project was completed, BIG got to work on a two-story addition for the school which just wrapped construction. The new arts building provides a connection between the snazzy recreation center and the school's soccer—er, "football"—fields. BIG said the new space is intended to mesh with its first project, but not copy it. So where the rec center is primarily concrete with some wood finishes, the new building has wooden walls and concrete floors and ceilings. The building meets the street from underneath the existing fields, which it lifts up by two stories. The building's roof extends the fields, creating a so-called "green carpet for informal activity." The result looks quite similar to Kiss + Cathcart's Bushwick Inlet Park pavilion in Brooklyn. BIG also proposed a similar trick in its Smithsonian master plan. “My high-school, formerly introverted and dispersed, has become open and integrated through two focused interventions. Even though each phase is autonomous and complete – their introduction in to the mix has completely reconfigured the sum of the parts," said Ingels in a statement. "Like a catalyst or an enzyme–once inserted–all the surrounding substance transforms into something completely new.” Since this is the Bjarke Ingels Group, the announcement of the building's completion of course comes with a flashy video (up above). So you can watch as "'free-runner" Bjarke Hellden backflips through the school.
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New HOK stadium renderings show off St. Louis for restless Rams football franchise
Missouri's football fans are savoring plans for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis, but it remains unclear if the HOK-led designs will be enough to keep the Rams from leaving. In January fans of the St. Louis Rams got new reason to fear their football team might depart when owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build an HKS-designed 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. Twenty years after the NFL team left L.A. in the first place, they may well move back—but not if St. Louis officials and fans have their way. New renderings released in March give more substance to plans that could woo the Rams into staying: a football and soccer stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River designed by St. Louis–based HOK. The National Football League has said no team relocations will happen this year, but either stadium plan could be ready for construction in 2016. A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK) A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK) A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK) A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK)
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St. Louis offers the Rams a new stadium on the Mississippi—if they stay
St. Louis' NFL franchise, the Rams, left Los Angeles in 1994. Twenty years later they're mulling a move back, but not without a fight from the residents of their new Midwestern home. Last week plans for a new arena on the banks of the Mississippi River upped the ante, promising Rams fans 64,000 seats and an open-air stadium designed by HOK and 360 Architecture that a city-appointed task force called “the crown jewel of the reinvention of St. Louis’ city center”. L.A., where the Rams were founded and played for nearly 50 years, offers an 80,000-seat stadium designed by HKS. The Associated Press said last week that billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke wasn't returning calls from St. Louis city officials. In November Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock and Attorney Bob Blitz to lead a task force on the new stadium proposed for the North Riverfront area of downtown. Their plan, released Friday, said “the new stadium will impose no new tax burden on taxpayers in the local region or the State of Missouri”. It proposes bridging I-44 to link the Edward Jones Dome with St. Louis' Great Rivers Greenway network and the CityArchRiver grounds, where the city's iconic Gateway Arch and Museum of Western Expansion are undergoing a massive renovation and expansion. If approved, the stadium, which would also play host to Major League Soccer games, would start construction in 2016 and be ready for games in 2020. That is, if St. Louis still has a team; The National Football League has said no team relocations will happen this year. st louis arena (courtesy HOK, 360 Architecture) aerial st louis arena (courtesy HOK, 360 Architecture) 3 st louis arena (courtesy HOK, 360 Architecture) elevation st louis arena (courtesy HOK, 360 Architecture) field st louis arena (courtesy HOK, 360 Architecture) soccer
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Lycee Francais de Chicago
Courtesy STL

Lycée Français de Chicago
Architect: STL
Client: Lycée Français de Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: Summer 2015

Chicago’s premier French school is running out the lease on its building in the Buena Park neighborhood, and plans to move into a new location on the site of the old Ravenswood Hospital before the 2015–2016 school year. The new facilities will be built in phases, as fundraising allows, but first up in a master plan by local architecture firm STL will be 86,000 square feet of classrooms and the typical educational amenities such as a gym and library. Soon to follow will be an auditorium—something architect Luis Collado said is lacking in the current building. “The only place the school comes together in one place is in the auditorium,” he said. “You never feel that you are in one school. Our design completely changes that.”


The new building’s 12 stories stratify the K-12 school by grade level, using bright color coding in walls, furniture, and detailing to identify shared and public spaces. Architect Jose Luis de la Fuente said a large atrium unites the floors, acting as the “heart” of the building, “the social infrastructure that kind of allows everyone to connect to each other.”

Color coding informs the double-skin facade as well. The bright red portals that ring the facade’s variously sized square windows are the most obvious element of an abstracted color scheme that recalls the colors of the French flag. White detailing on the perforated screen and flashes of blue on the metallic inner envelope complete the subtle pattern.


While a fence encloses the school’s three-quarter sized soccer field and outdoor areas, Collado said community engagement was a key goal for the Lycée. STL made the gym and auditorium accessible separately from the academic spaces, allowing it to stay open for neighborhood events after hours. He said the school is also exploring ways to manage public access to the playground and soccer field.

The amount of space tucked behind the 12-story volume on Wilson Avenue will bea surprisingly large, its designers said. That helps Lycée open up, even on a dense urban site. “They want to create citizens of the world,” said Collado. “The idea of really having a campus is something they haven’t had before.”

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Bullets to Books
Courtesy DLR Group

Two years ago Chris Osore, a designer in Des Moines with Chicago-based DLR Group, was reminiscing with a fellow Iowa State University graduate about his alma mater. In May he was pitching a master plan for a school halfway across the world to Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya.

The alumna Osore chatted up was Olive Mugenda, the first female vice chancellor of Kenya’s Kenyatta University. She was in Des Moines for the annual presentation of the World Food Prize when Osore introduced himself. Their common ground goes beyond their alma mater—Osore’s parents moved to the U.S. from Kenya in the 1960s. That leant a personal touch to the work Osore soon found himself immersed in; Mugenda explained that Kenyatta University was struggling to deal with an exponential increase in students and needed a design firm to help guide a rapid expansion.

“A huge need is education,” said Osore. “It’s a stepping stone for them to improve their standards of living.” Brain drain is still a challenge for the East African nation, but as Kenya’s middle class booms it is looking to stem the flow of young professionals out of the country.

Kenyatta University’s expansion plan includes a 30,000-seat stadium and rec center.

Kenyatta University has grown from some 8,000 students in the late 1990s to more than 40,000 students across five campuses today. Its student body is expected to approach 70,000 in the next 10 to 15 years. So even though its campus network comprises a sprawling 1,000 acres, university leadership is already talking about growing vertically.

The main Kenyatta University Campus, located 15 miles northeast of downtown Nairobi in Kahawa, used to be the British government’s Templar Military Barracks until colonial rule ended in 1965. “A military base is for moving vehicular traffic,” said Osore. “A campus on the other hand is the exact opposite—it’s focused on the student and the pedestrian experience. We had to allow the pedestrian to take over the campus again.” That included introducing the first bike-share program on a Kenyan campus and arranging for a campus loop shuttle system for long distances. But the bulk of the master planning was focused on pedestrian traffic. DLR Group designers consolidated academic programs formerly scattered across campus into nodes arranged around a central campus green, linking pathways with a series of clustered courtyards.

Their work also involved creating a home for new programs, like the 96,000-square-foot School of Architecture Building on Kenyatta’s Ruiru Campus, located five miles north of the main campus. The form of the $13 million building references Kenya’s topography. Rising in a jagged sweep across several volumes, the structure recalls the hills of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley. A black mesh plate folds over the courtyard separating the building’s tallest volume from its lower counterparts, sheltering a central outdoor area from the hot Nairobi sun and inviting passersby into the “valley” to intermingle. Construction should begin by the end of this year.

The project’s initial phase also includes a 30,000-seat stadium. Kenyatta vice chancellor Olive Mugenda is still looking for $53 million to pay for the massive arena and recreation center, although she has said she would like to see a soccer match there before her term is up in two years. In addition to soccer and rugby, DLR Group’s Jeff Fenimore said the facility is designed for maximum flexibility, so the space will not go unused between large games. Public events, classes, and meetings could all use the recreation center and stadium spaces, he said.

For Osore, who has visited Kenya on vacation with his parents, the project’s value goes beyond hitting architectural marks. “I am proud to work for a firm that believes we can elevate the human experience through design,” he said.

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Saturday> Fire Festival to light up the Chicago River
A new downtown festival launching tomorrow celebrates the “grit, greatness and renewal” of Chicago by paying tribute its greatest tragedy. In a move reminiscent of Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain, The Chicago Fire Festival will float some theatrical pyrotechnics down the Chicago River on Saturday evening. Chicago's most infamous disaster has long been less a symbol of destruction than rebirth. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 killed hundreds of people and leveled several square miles of the still young city. That cleared the way for the birth of modern Chicago, a bittersweet legacy celebrated to this day by a star on the city's flag, as well as in the names of its major league soccer team and its downtown tech business incubator. The city tasked local Redmoon Theater with organizing the inaugural Chicago Fire Festival, corralling corporate sponsors and non-profit foundations to produce the event. “The Great Chicago Fire basically birthed our great cultural export: architecture,” Redmoon's director Jim Lasko told Chicago Magazine. The festival will be a culmination of Redmoon's previous effort, a three-month series of free events throughout dozens of Chicago neighborhoods that asked residents about challenges they've overcome and successes they celebrate. Many of their answers will be projected on floating barges in the river between State Street and Columbus Drive on Saturday night. If the festival is a success, organizers hope it will become an annual fixture of public art in Chicago. If not, it will burn away with the models of Victorian homes and period-specific Chicago architecture that Redmoon is offering up in the name of The Great Chicago Fire Festival.
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Eavesdrop> Muckraking Architecture Critics!
Zaha Hadid has sued the New York Review of Books. The complaint, filed last month in Manhattan Supreme Court, takes issue with a piece by architecture critic Martin Filler that allegedly mischaracterized her comments on the deaths of hundreds of migrant construction workers in Qatar, where she has designed a soccer stadium for the 2022 World Cup. According to Hadid’s lawyers, the article is a “personal attack disguised as a book review” of New York Observer architecture critic Rowan Moore’s Why We Build. It apparently quotes the Pritzker Prize winner as saying that architects “have nothing to do with the workers” and goes on to characterize her as being a generally uncaring and difficult person. The lawyers went on to point out that no workers have died on Hadid’s project, which, as a matter of fact, has yet to begin construction. The suit has stirred up quite a bit of activity on social media, including a tweet from Paul Goldberger, who said that the suit was unwise as it will earn Hadid a reputation as “the architect who sues critics.” The NYRB has since issued a retraction.
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Back in the game: HOK to acquire 360 Architecture, reenter sports architecture field
In a power play for the world of arena architecture, HOK has announced it will acquire Kansas City's 360 Architecture. Their union marks HOK's return to the world of sports and entertainment facility design, possibly to compete with Populous, another Kansas City-based firm that spun off from HOK Sports Venue Event in 2008. HOK started HOK Sports in 1983, but that firm (now called Populous) no longer has any affiliation with St. Louis-based HOK.  The global design firm's merger with 360 creates the largest architectural firm in Missouri. “Joining HOK enables us to take advantage of an exceptionally strong global platform and to expand our sports facility design practice while offering our clients additional expertise in other markets,” 360 Principal Brad Schrock said in a statement. “This also brings HOK, a global design leader in many building types, into the heart of Kansas City.” 360’s current projects include the Rogers Place arena for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, and a new stadium for the Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. Major competitors for the new HOK sports design giant will likely remain Dallas-based HKS and Seattle’s NBBJ. The two had been short-listed to design a major new stadium for the Detroit Red Wings, but developer Ilitch Properties selected none other than 360 Architecture as lead designer and architect of record on that project. Meanwhile HKS is tackling a new Vikings arena in Minneapolis, while NBBJ fields Lexington, KY’s storied Rupp Arena.
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Have World Cup Fever? Second World Cup Stadium revealed for Qatar 2022
World-Cup-Qatar-Al-Bayt-Stadium-Archpaper With the U.S. knocked out of the World Cup, true fans already are dreaming of our next opportunity to enter the final four. Qatar, which won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has added detail to what one of those future venues might look like by revealing renderings for its latest soccer venue. The Al Bayt Stadium is modeled after a traditional nomadic tent. Previously, AN covered Qatar's initial plans to host the 2022 World Cup—3 expanded stadiums and 9 new ultra modern stadiums—designed by the likes of Zaha Hadid, whose design has already raised eyebrows across the globe. Now, we can expand upon the future World Cup stadium designs with renderings released of Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The stadium will be finished by 2018, years ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The Al Bayt stadium will reportedly have 60,000 seats and feature eco-friendly technology following LEED principles with a goal of achieving a carbon neutral event. Planning for the long term, the architectural designs feature a detachable upper tier that will reduce the stadium's capacity to 32,000 seats after the World Cup. The removed seats will be donated to other countries. World-Cup-Qatar-Al-Bayt-Stadium2-Archpaper World-Cup-Qatar-Al-Bayt-Stadium1-Archpaper
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Clayco Forum
Gateway Plaza, Richmond, Virginia.
Courtesy Forum Studio

Clayco celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, but the massive design-build firm is looking forward, not back. Last year it moved its headquarters from St. Louis to its offices in Chicago’s Jewelers Building, 35 East Wacker Drive.

That is where AN caught up with the firm, which had just opened the second exhibition in its Art & Science series—an ongoing art show in the firm’s downtown office. Amid a collection of photography from the University of Chicago campus, urban design practice principal Chip Crawford said that while the scope of Clayco’s work is expansive, it aims to tread lightly.

“Where’s nature at the design table?” asked Crawford, who joined the firm in 2012 after 28 years developing HOK’s planning group and whose research interests include biomimicry and ecosystem services. He said incorporating nature as a design partner means more than just practicing landscape architecture. “We’re developers, we’re builders, and we’re designers,” he said. “It’s really a radical partnership. We’re all working elbow to elbow.”

Forum Studio has been the firm’s design arm since 1999, while Concrete Strategies handles construction. Clayco bills itself as a full-service real estate, architecture, engineering, and construction firm. Such design-build practices are more common abroad, but have not caught on the same way in the U.S. The arrangement benefits clients because they have a better idea what a project will entail and cost from the start.

Clayco is active worldwide, but is also heavily invested in its own backyard. The firm’s master plan for Pune, India, includes a seasonal lake for stormwater harvesting. At home, they are remaking public spaces from East St. Louis to Richmond, Virginia.


Christian Activity Center
East St. Louis, IL

In the heart of impoverished East St. Louis, a 22-acre park is meant to help stave off urban decay. No mere open space, the Christian Activity Center has space for community gardens, a farmer’s market, and a band shelter to host performances by local artists and musicians. “They’re trying to rebuild community through recreation,” Crawford said. “It’s way richer than just some soccer fields. You could change the way people feel about open space, create a sense of ownership.”


Gateway Plaza
Richmond, VA

Around the corner from Kanawha, Forum is working on site design for a multi-tenant office tower at the crossroads of two major highways that will serve as a portal to downtown. Home to law firm McGuire Woods’ corporate headquarters, the tower opens onto landscaped areas that function both as private retreats and stormwater retention areas. With artists Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, the firm drew on the nearby James River to develop a visual vocabulary for the site around the concept of “flow.”


Zirve University Hospital
Gaziantep, Turkey

This multi-phase master plan calls for a regional education hub near the Syrian border in Eastern Turkey. Public spaces link the campus buildings, which will include a hotel, gym, dormitories, a hospital with almost 500 beds, a conference and education center, and a 300,000-square-foot medical research facility.


Kanawha Plaza
Richmond, VA

Parking podiums constrict public space in downtown Richmond, where an underutilized three-acre park known as Kanawha Plaza can feel like an afterthought to the nearby highway. The winning bid for the James River Green Building Council’s 2013 Green Spaces Design Competition, Forum’s plan calls for 175,000 square feet of mixed-use development on site to help fund a rehab of the public space. Cantilevered over the park, the bulk of the building connects Kanawha to the urban fabric and serves as a projection screen for an interactive LED display.


Mejillones Masterplan

In the town of Mejillones, situated along northern Chile’s Pacific Coast, nearby copper mines are spurring unprecedented growth in the city’s Angamos port. But the rapid development threatens the area’s cultural heritage, and threatens to overshadow its touristic potential as a coastal destination in the Atacama Desert. By erecting a programmed berm full of pocket parks between the city’s downtown and its industrial zone, Forum’s design hopes to visually separate Mejillone’s two faces. The landform could even harvest greywater for irrigation in the arid city.