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"Stadiums and arenas, because they are such large and expensive projects by nature, usually go for service firms. But it's design firms that they need."

You could argue they need both. The new University of Phoenix Stadium wasn't just Eisenmann's work -- Populous was part of that team as well. And that stadium is hailed as much (maybe more so) for the fan experience it offers as for its architecture. I doubt much of that credit should go to Eisenmann. (And let's not hail that stadium too much -- it's a nightmare from a sustainable design standpoint.)

That point aside, this was a well-thought piece.

Charles MacEachen

Right. University of Phoenix was Eisenman + HOK Sport, now Populous. The Birds nest was Herzog & de Meuron + ArupSport.

But what of it? The Birds nest is being turned into a shopping mall and U of Phoenix Stadium is an environmental nightmare that is located out in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of the suburbs. An iconic exterior only gets you so far, or doesn't, it seems.

These may be stadiums that make you take a second look, but for something that truly benefits the community there are much more important issues like siting, walkability, context. I agree, Jeld-Wen works. So does Wrigley Field in Chicago. These are both excellent examples of stadiums that are tightly knit into their context. Rather than an object, a sculpture, placed in an otherwise empty space, these are real pieces of architecture which work as more than just curiosities.


"Had the architects bulldozed the original.. "
To be clear, Architects don't bulldoze old buildings. They rarely even have much of a say in any decision regarding bulldozing.

Fred Leeson

I predict it won't be long before we're having the stadium conversation again in Portland. Every time we remodel Multnomah/Civic/PGE/Jeld-Wen it gets smaller and smaller. I remember going to football games at Multnomah Stadium that drew 30,000. After three renovations, the capacity for soccer is now 18,600. And since the Timbers are selling out so often, it won't be long before the owner threatens to move unless Portland builds a new stadium. Right? That's how sports franchises work.

I also remember the two elections in which the Delta Dome proposal was defeated in the 1960s. Nobody remembers the design now, but it was interesting: a timber-framed dome sitting atop a seating bowl -- with a free flow of air between them. No HVAC needed. "Green" ahead of its time. Maybe what goes around will come around again?

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