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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On February 16, D.C. United was granted approval by the D.C. Zoning Commission for the construction of Audi Field, the MLS team's new $300 million stadium designed by stadia specialists Populous and local practice Marshall Moya Design. On February 27, this coming Monday, ground will break on-site at Half Street at 3 p.m. The process, however, hasn't all been smooth sailing. Although the five-member committee was unanimous in their decision, zoning commissioners Peter May and Michael Turnbull were reluctant in doing so. "I still do feel like this application left something to be desired," said May. "I am still disappointed in the design. It has been a disappointment all the way through. I hope it turns out better than expected." The stadium will be built at Buzzard Point near the Anacostia River. The site was determined four years ago, but issues raised by the Buzzard Point advisory neighborhood commission and the D.C. Department of Transportation induced delays. Problems relating to public space, retail, parking, and the environment were ironed out in December when the design went before commissioners; the stadium was then awarded prior approval at the time. Even then, however, Commission Chairman Anthony Hood remarked that "major work" was still required with regard to transport in and around the site. In response to neighborhood concerns, the soccer team will donate $50,000 to non-profit organization Breathe DC for the purchase of air purifiers, as well as put in place a bike sharing facility with parking for 447 bicycles. 500,000 square feet (total) of retail space is also now part of the development. Plans, though, are yet to be finalized for parking and traffic management when D.C.'s baseball team, the Washington Nationals, play a few blocks down the road. Aside from the concerns, Audi Field is due to open in 2018. The new stadium will boast a capacity of 20,000 and offer 31 luxury suites. The arena is set to host numerous sporting and cultural events, community activities, and concerts. "We are extremely excited to break ground on this site, a project that has been 21 years in the making," said Jason Levien, United managing partner. "Since Erick [Thohir] and I assumed stewardship in 2012 we’ve been on a mission to deliver to our fans and this community a new, permanent home." D.C. United currently play at the RFK Stadium, the area around of which is the focus of OMA's New York office for a major upheaval. The estimated $500 million proposal includes three ballfields (two for baseball, one for youth soccer), a 350,000-square-foot recreation and sports complex, and a 47,000-square-foot market selling groceries and concessions.
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and architects Gensler have revealed new renderings for the $250-million LAFC stadium in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park. The new renderings also showcase the stadium’s new name—the Banc of California Stadium—and provide a glimpse into the complex’s sleek interiors. The 22,000-seat stadium was approved by the Los Angeles City Council in 2016 and is now currently under construction. The structure is designed as an open-air stadium with steeply-raked and sweeping seating areas shaped around the field. That “European-style” arrangement, according to the architects, emphasizes fans’ experience of watching each match by putting the viewer in a closer relationship with the field and players. The complex will also include commercial and restaurant functions oriented toward the larger community. Renderings for the complex show generous pedestrian areas surrounding the main entry of the stadium as well as tree-lined paths leading to other attractions in the park. The stadium joins a growing number of new attractions coming to the urban park, including the recently-proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) building designed by Chinese firm MAD Architects. The board of directors for the LMNA announced last week it was choosing Los Angeles as the location for its new museum. LAFC’s new stadium takes the place of the recently-demolished Welton Becket-designed L.A. Sports Arena, a structure built in 1959 that played host to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball teams as well as college basketball teams for University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. The L.A. Sports Arena held its final event in March when Bruce Springsteen performed a sold-out concert there. The new stadium is expected to open for the 2018 soccer season. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
New lawn, new dawn: Zaha Hadid Architects designs all-wood stadium for UK soccer minnows Forest Green Rovers
In many ways, it's fitting that a team who was the world's first all-vegan soccer club and has the word "Forest" in their name should play in a stadium made entirely of wood. That is about to become a reality for U.K. hipster soccer minnows (think minor league) Forest Green Rovers from the sleepy town of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in West England thanks to Zaha Hadid Architects' (ZHA) all-timber design. Their current stadium called "The New Lawn" (a name born when terracing was added in the 1950s; previously the "stadium" was merely just a lawn and named accordingly as "The Lawn") can be found on a road called Another Way. And another way is on the horizon. While one yearns for ZHA's design to be called "The New New Lawn," the stadium will predictably be known as "Eco Park Stadium"—perhaps an unsurprising choice in the age of stadia bearing their financier's namesake, which in this case is local green energy firm, Ecotricity. The stadium will be the focal point of the $124 million "Eco Park" development which comprises 100 acres worth of space dedicated to sports and green technology. Alongside the stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub will form one-half of the site. Meanwhile, a green technology business park, housing commercial offices and light industrial units, will form the other. Ecotricity's proposal also includes work being done on the site's nature reserve and the nearby Stroudwater canal as well as the potential addition of a public transport hub. While the prime stadium naming opportunity was passed up, hopes of the stadium being placed on a road within the development called "The Other Way," or at least something that references the team's quirkily-named origins, remain un-dashed. As for ZHA's design, the structure will be first all-timber stadium in the world. The typically undulating Hadid style can be seen in the stadium's roof design. Such a style, however, is not uncommon in contemporary stadia where similarly curving roofscapes are used as acoustic devices to contain crowd noise. Since the devastating Bradford City FC stadium fire of 1985, timber has been largely ignored as a material for stadium design, especially in the realm of British soccer despite advancements in fire retardant treatments. The stadium will have a capacity of 5,000. Forest Green Rovers' current home ground actually offers room for 5,140 though only 2,000 of this is seated. The team has never been a member of the professional Football League in the U.K., but has made exceptionally steady progress (40 years without any relegations) from floundering in unheard of Hellenic Football League Premier Division to the Conference National League–one tier away from prized professional football where the minimum capacity requirement stands at 5,000. Club Chairman Dale Vince has green-fingered ambition. He has been turning the club into one the most eco-friendly soccer teams around since he became a major shareholder in 2010. Since then, numerous solar panels have been installed on the team's current stadium while an organic soccer pitch (another world-first) is kept trim by a solar-powered robot grass mower. However, in terms of soccer, at their current rate of progression, the dizzying heights of the Premier League is only 68 years away. "The club’s heritage, ambition, and vision reflect our own, combining the latest material research and construction techniques with new design approaches to build a more ecologically sustainable and inclusive architecture," said Director at ZAH, Jim Heverin. “With the team’s community and supporters at its core, fans will be as close as five meters from the pitch and every seat has been calculated to provide unrestricted sightlines to the entire field of play. The stadium’s continuous spectator bowl surrounding the pitch will maximize matchday atmosphere." A stadium solely designed for soccer playing will also be welcome news for fans. As London club West Ham United recently found out, multipurpose stadia–often with seating miles away from the pitch–are bereft of atmosphere. As a result, one expert has called for the former Olympic Park stadium to be knocked down. A successful precedent, though, for bespoke soccer-orientated stadia can be seen in Herzog & de Meuron's Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich in Germany where crown proximity, circulation, and acoustics are at the forefront of the design. ZHA's design also follows in Herzog & de Meuron's footsteps in its use of an unconventional material for a stadium—a phenomenon which appears be on the rise for the U.K. soccer typology. Herzog and de Meuron's bold brick design for Chelsea FC also strays away from the explicitly tectonic approach almost always donned by stadia in the recent past. This style is even more prevalent in the U.K. in the wake of the Taylor Report whereby stadium safety was once hot on the agenda and thus expressed aesthetically.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert have announced their plans to bring a Major League Soccer team to Detroit with the release of initial renderings of a Detroit MLS Stadium and District. Detroit-based ROSSETTI has been commissioned to develop the plan, which includes a 480,000-square-foot, 20,000-seat stadium. Adjoining the stadium will also be a 90,000-square-foot training facility, a 245,000-square-foot podium for commerce and recreation, and four towers containing hotel, residential and office space. “Central to the project’s design is porosity and creating an uninterrupted experience between the public realm and physical buildings. In it, we explore how to unite cities with nature, people with habitats, sports with culture. We endeavor to have all anchor developments facilitating pedestrian movement horizontally and vertically through a ‘green belt’ podium,” said Detroit Native Matt Rossetti, CEO and President of ROSSETTI in a press release on Wednesday. The large podium will connect the entire 8-10 block development with a continuous elevated greenspace which will be open to the public. The project is specifically designed to connect currently separate areas in the center of downtown at Campus Martius with the Eastern Market. ROSSETTI has extensive experience in sports facility building, and has complete five MLS stadiums in the U.S. and abroad. The site is currently an unfinished jail site owned by Wayne County.
Rome is home to what is likely the most iconic example of sport architecture on the planet. The Colosseum is a distant precedent for the design of most stadiums, but Woods Bagot has chosen to make the connection explicit in their new project for local soccer club AS Roma. The international firm has unveiled their vision for a new, more centrally located venue set to open at the start of the 2016–2017 season. Stadio Della Roma is a 52,500 seat stadium designed explicitly with the concept of home-field (pitch if you're in Europe) advantage in mind. The building features a tightly wrapped seating bowl and a steeply-pitched, explicitly-delineated Curva Sud section for the club's "ultras" or most ravenous supporters. Ancestral inspirations manifest themselves in the form of a circular opening and a floating stone screen that envelops the structure and rewrites the curves of the arches of the Colosseum in a sharper, more angular vocabulary. The scheme also calls for a large hydraulic elevator system that consciously or unconsciously nods to another Ancient Roman contribution to sporting venues. The new stadium's lift will be used for bringing players to the surface rather than ferocious exotic animals. High-tech training facilities, a Nikestore and a Roma Hall of Fame will be other new amenities housed on the grounds. Dan Meis, a familiar figure in American arena architecture, will be leading the undertaking.
Spanish soccer franchise Real Madrid has revealed plans for a drastic reshaping of its iconic Santiago Bernabeau stadium. The plan entails sheathing the existing structure in a curvaceous titanium facade that will also add a hotel, a shopping and leisure center, and an underground car park. The new skin also adds a retractable roof to the stadium. German firm GMP Architekten will be heading the project joined by locals L35 Architects and, in a crossing of party-lines, Barcelona-based Ribas & Ribas. The lines of the exterior are meant to respond to shifting sunlight patterns by day and play host to LED light displays by night. One amorphous face will act as a screen for large-scale media projections. The innermost portion of the new roof will be translucent, allowing natural light to filter onto the playing surface and past the 360° screen that hangs directly beneath The included hotel is set to feature rooms offering direct views of the pitch. L35 managing partner Tristán López-Chicheri claims that the club's history of recruiting costly star players acted as an inspiration for the new design: "the idea of excellence was another strong inspiration. The ‘galactic heroes’ of real madrid made us think of a polished gemstone, a magic skin with a changing light and color hues that actually protects a treasure." The assignment necessitates that construction not interfere with play, and despite its relatively high-tech qualities and irregular forms, large sections of the new structure can be shop-assembled offsite. GMP Architekten have extensive experience with projects of this nature, having already designed three stadiums for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and two structures for this summer's Brazilian iteration of the tournament. A completion date has been tentatively set for 2017 with a $537 million price tag slapped on the project. How a club supposedly saddled with almost $800 million in debt can afford such an expense is unclear, though their current financial straits have done little to curb the recruitment of evermore expensive galactic heroes (galacticos) that might serve as future inspiration for another multimillion dollar renovation. In the spirit of competition, Madrid's presentation comes in the wake of Barcelona's announcement for costly, though more stylistically modest, updates to their own stadium, a Nou-er Camp, if you will.