18 November 2005

Modern it is for DC

HOK Sport, the 900-lb. gorilla of stadium design, won the bid for the Nats' new home. Thankfully, it won't be the same retro/faux brick design we've seen in so many other ballparks. DC's new ballpark will have a glass, steel, and stone facade. Though drawings have not yet been released to the public, a recent HOK presentation with renderings was met with aproval by key DC officials.

While HOK is not expected to be architect for the A's future ballpark (360 architecture appears to have gotten the nod), it will still be interesting to see how HOK successful this new design is, since it's a drastic departure from the retro theme, of which they've been somewhat unfairly criticized (much of what they've done has been at someone's request). With the retro shackles off, I look forward to an exterior that complements and showcases the neat engineering inside.


tony d. said...

What's wrong with Retro/Faux? I kind of like the designs of the parks built over the past decade...they match extremely well/fit in with with most urban area's. With the Nat's new park, are we going to see something akin to SFO's international terminal? Can you give us a sense ML (possible using stadiums now in existance) of how a modern glass/steel/stone ballpark might look?

Marine Layer said...

They're cute, but they don't speak to the era in which they were built. Everyone remembers brick facades and quirky outfield walls, but people conveniently leave out cramped seats and rows, obstructed views, and a lack of amenities. Wrapping a modern structure in a retro skin is marketing, nothing more. And the fact that so many have done it now makes retro the new cookie-cutter. The A's new ballpark should be distinctive, and to do that it must be original. Modern is a good step towards that.

Some initial sketches commissioned for the DC Ballpark were done by 360 Architecture (Wolff's preferred architects). So you should know where they're going with this.