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American Dream, a potentially cursed megamall designed by Gensler in the New Jersey Meadowlands, is, once again, having a rough go of it.

Over 20 delay-mired years, at least two name changes, and innumerable legal challenges after the project was first envisioned, the 3-million-square-foot “destination” complex, complete with an indoor ski slope, DreamWorks water adventure park, 8.5-acre Nickelodeon-branded theme park, aquarium, ice rink, and over 450 retail shops including the world’s first department store dedicated to candy, partially opened this past October to decent fanfare. Some attractions, including the aforementioned ice rink and candy department store, reportedly performed beyond expectations during their few months in existence. The Manhattan-adjacent mall was scheduled to be opened in phases, beginning with some of its major attractions.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Now, it’s now unclear when the previously opened parts of American Dream will return. It’s also unclear when other areas beyond the 8 percent of the mall that opened in October will debut. This includes many of the mall’s stores and eateries, which were on the verge of opening when the mall was temporarily shuttered in March. As reported by NJ.com, tenants including Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, and the Children’s Place could vacate before opening. Meanwhile, supplement purveyor GNC has announced it will close numerous stores across the Garden State, including a yet-to-open one at American Dream, as part of a bankruptcy protection plan. CMX Cinemas, which was on tap to open a major outpost at the mall, also filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year. (Two major planned tenants, Barney’s and Lord & Taylor went belly-up before the pandemic; while not officially gone, the latter plans to liquidate its surviving stores after they reopen.)

As individual tenants put out their own financial fires, Triple Five Group also appears to be struggling. Per NJ.com, the company missed a third $7 million mortgage payment for June on its $1.4 billion Mall of America mortgage, which was used for collateral in the financing of American Dream. What’s more, over $13 million in construction liens been filed by contractors and subcontractors for unpaid work at the mall.

“We are aware of the liens and thank all project-related vendors for their patience during this global pandemic, and have been reaching out to those who have been affected. We are working with our tenants and vendors to ensure each of these payment items are addressed as the state continues to re-open, restart and resume business,” a spokesperson for American Dream said in a statement provided to NJ Advance Media in late June.

Forbes also reported in June that American Dream has slashed 100 jobs, which amounts to roughly 7 percent of the complex’s property management and operations team.

Despite the dire financial situation, some local officials are optimistic that American Dream will emerge from its present-day nightmare albeit perhaps in a slightly different form considering that it has more legs to stand on than just retail.

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, however, doesn’t see the point in donning rose-tinted glasses.

“It’s always been the wrong project, in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Tittel, who has long been critical of the megamall, told Forbes. “This place has been jinxed since day one, but then again it’s the curse of New Jersey. This is something that should have never been approved and they just kept pushing forward on it,” he said of the local politicians and officials who simply refused to acknowledge the project’s risky nature.
OMA | Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)

Fondly referred to as De Kuip (or the tub) in Rotterdam, Feyenoord’s stadium in the city’s south has been home to the Dutch football club for over eighty years. When completed in 1937, the stadium structure—built entirely with steel and concrete tiers and including a curved, cantilevered stand—was a forerunner in modernist football stadium. Feyenoord’s current ambitions to further strengthen the football club, in combination with the municipality of Rotterdam’s plan to rejuvenate the area of Rotterdam-Zuid, have led to the development of the new Feyenoord Stadium as part of Feyenoord City—a masterplan designed to transform Rotterdam-Zuid into a well-connected and vibrant neighbourhood for sports, recreation, and living.

Over the past decades, stadium design has been evolving in response to football clubs’ new demands, including engagement with a larger supporter base, diversification of hospitality offerings, and development of commercial opportunities. For Feyenoord, various renovations of De Kuip between the 1950s and 1990s have offered immediate solutions to the needs of the football club to upgrade the football watching experience, and to increase its business and hospitality capacity. While catering to Feyenoord’s changing needs, these transformations also compromised the stadium’s original design intent. The new Feyenoord Stadium—proposed by OMA, Feijenoord Stadium, and the Feyenoord football club—at a new location along the Nieuwe Maas and a highly accessible transportation node, is a future-proof infrastructure for football and daily activities in the surrounding communities.

The new stadium is an ensemble of essential elements: the stand, circulation cores, the structure, and functional spaces. Each element has been logically designed to maximise performance. The three-tier stand increases the capacity of the stadium to 63,000, while placing spectators as close to the field as possible for an intimate match experience. All seats have an above FIFA standard C-value that ensures clear and unobstructed views of the playing field. Twelve concrete circulation cores, with different types of stairs and elevators inside, are evenly distributed along the perimeter of the stadium. This configuration allows a large number of visitors to efficiently move between the concourse and upper levels on event days. The bowl-shaped steel structure—a diagrid that requires less structural steel than a conventional steel frame—is the primary structure supporting the stand and its roof. Functional spaces have been designed for specific users such as players, guests, and media. They also accommodate hospitality offerings including restaurants and multifunctional spaces.

All these elements have been assembled to form a stadium that is more than the sum of its parts: logical and functional as De Kuip and offering one of the best sightlines among stadiums of this scale, it is a truly open stadium with an public concourse on the main entry level. Designed in collaboration with LOLA Landscape Architects, this concourse is not fenced off but welcomes the public. With daily open F&B offerings, a playground, and greeneries, it is a space for football fans and the public to gather on match days, and for everyone to use for leisure activities when there are no events.

Distinctive from most contemporary stadiums designed as isolated icons—relevant only to football and detached from a city’s daily life—the new Feyenoord Stadium is a vital space in the Feyenoord City masterplan and open to public. By restoring the stadium’s historical role as a city’s significant public realm, it redefines the existing typology.
Shao Feng/NBBJ
The complex sprawls over a 4.3 million-square-foot project site—with an 80,000-seat, lotus-inspired stadium at its center.

A new multipurpose Olympic sports center in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, offers a glimpse of how China’s architectural landscape is evolving. What was once an unfettered creative playground for the exotic and sometimes downright bizarre has shifted into something more considered, with sustainable, innovative, and context-specific architecture on the rise.

“It is no longer a case of ‘build it and they will come,’” says Robert Mankin of architecture firm NBBJ, who won the project through a competitive bid process in 2009. “Here our municipal client was very conscious about not creating something just for show. They wanted to go beyond the conceptual, to make it something of Hangzhou.”

The complex, which will serve the 2022 Winter Games, sprawls over a 4.3 million-square-foot project site on the Qiantang riverfront. At its center is an 80,000-seat stadium featuring a gleaming facade of 28 pairs of entwined steel petals—a reference to the nearby West Lake’s famed lotus flowers, bringing traditional motifs together with new architecture.

“Second-tier cities like Hangzhou are very exciting because they have a different scale and distinctive personality,” Mankin says. “Hangzhou has a beautiful lake in the center of the city and a wonderful history with villas, temples, and walkways. We wanted to keep a sense of the spirit of the city.”

NBBJ partner Jonathan Ward says that parametric modeling during schematic design was key to refining the light, open, and welcoming human phenomenological experience. The system allowed for the architects to make quick and efficient changes, avoiding traditional “build-test-discard” methods and enabling a reduction of steel by around 67 percent when compared to similar stadiums.

“Getting proportions right in terms of massing and scale was very important and we were able to build in more and more intelligence, modifying the design and making quite complicated changes in parallel with the engineers, BuroHappold Engineering,” Ward explains.

Though the petals’ double curvature is complex to fabricate, the petals were designed to use repeating modular elements that ease their on-site assembly.

Reflecting a growing trend to enhance stadiums, which today are expected to accommodate more than just sports, the stadium was designed for multiple uses. There are two levels for spectators, and a basement retail level that connects with a nearby transit station, restaurants, a cinema, and exhibition and convention centers. The architecture retains an interesting perspective from both within and without, avoiding the more usual inward-looking, fortress-style stadium structure.

Pedestrian circulation throughout the site operates over three levels and links an adjacent 10,000-seat NBBJ-designed tennis stadium through a landscaped network of pathways, gardens, and sunken spaces and courtyards, part of the master plan also conceived by the firm. The petal language of the larger structure carries over into the tennis stadium, connecting the two buildings visually.

“We thought very carefully about how people would inhabit the place when an event is not going on, so instead of inhospitable paved plazas there are meandering pathways that interact with the landscape and water,” Mankin explains.

Perhaps one of the most promising signs of change is that the poor workmanship which has plagued contemporary buildings in China—the price of construction at breakneck speed—reportedly does not appear to have been an issue here.

To some extent this may be because the project was awarded over a decade ago; in the years since, Hangzhou has focused its attention and budget on a number of other major building initiatives, giving the architects who worked with local architectural firm China Construction Design International time to collaborate more closely with the contractor on fine-tuning the design and keeping an eye on quality.

While Mankin agrees time has been on their side, he is adamant about a significant improvement in the understanding of sustainable design and building quality when it comes to cultural landmarks.

“We have seen a growing sense of civic responsibility where a world-class, high-performing building is just as important as creating an icon. Ten years ago these issues were not even part of the conversation,” he says.
Shao Feng/NBBJ Architects
NBBJ Architects designed the all-new Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center using far less steel than is standard in stadium design, meaning less carbon dioxide was emitted to create the structure

With dozens of massive sports arenas across the country, China is by no means a stranger to the world of impressive stadium design—take, for instance, Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest. But the newest stadium addition impresses not only with its inspired design but also with its approach to sustainable architecture.

In need of additional public space for sporting events, Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, sought to build new facilities—the result is the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center, designed by Los Angeles-based architecture firm NBBJ, which comprises an 80,000-seat arena, a 10,000-seat tennis court, swimming pools, and retail space.

“Hangzhou is one of the most scenic cities in China, and its West Lake is renowned for its beauty, elegance, and unique foliage,” says NBBJ partner Robert Mankin. “The stadium draws upon this beauty by using the indigenous water lily, or lotus, of the West Lake as its conceptual inspiration, interpreting the form into a series of modular ‘petal’ structures that gracefully surround the stadium.”

While steel is a necessary component in stadium architecture—and it does play a prominent role at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center—it’s also a major cause for concern from a sustainability perspective. In 2018, the production of each ton of steel resulted in the creation of two tons of carbon dioxide. So from the get-go, NBBJ was tasked with reducing the amount of steel used in the structure. Though the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium is roughly the same size as the Beijing National Stadium, the iconic Bird’s Nest from the 2008 Olympics, it uses 60% less steel—approximately 16,000 tons versus 40,000 tons.

“Hangzhou is one of the most scenic cities in China, and its West Lake is renowned for its beauty, elegance, and unique foliage,” says NBBJ partner Robert Mankin. “The stadium draws upon this beauty by using the indigenous water lily, or lotus, of the West Lake as its conceptual inspiration, interpreting the form into a series of modular ‘petal’ structures that gracefully surround the stadium.”

While steel is a necessary component in stadium architecture—and it does play a prominent role at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center—it’s also a major cause for concern from a sustainability perspective. In 2018, the production of each ton of steel resulted in the creation of two tons of carbon dioxide. So from the get-go, NBBJ was tasked with reducing the amount of steel used in the structure. Though the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium is roughly the same size as the Beijing National Stadium, the iconic Bird’s Nest from the 2008 Olympics, it uses 60% less steel—approximately 16,000 tons versus 40,000 tons.

There’s also the matter of the plaza surrounding the stadium, which NBBJ also aimed to keep as eco-friendly as possible. “The overall planning of the complex makes use of porous, light-colored surfaces and green park spaces with maximum vegetation,” says Mankin. “This approach will greatly reduce water runoff from the site, and will avoid the heat sink challenges that most other sports centers in China, including the Beijing Olympic Plaza, experience.”

The Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center is now open to the public and is expected to encourage new (and hopefully sustainable) development in the rapidly growing city. “The special role that the Hangzhou Olympic Park will play in creating a civic center for the surrounding community based upon sports and wellness is perhaps the most exciting and unique aspect of the development,” says Mankin.

Trail Drive Management Corp.
The new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, was designed to echo the iconic Will Rogers Memorial Center, a historic landmark built in 1934. The site of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo as well as other concerts and sporting events, Dickies Arena was designed to provide a modern entertainment experience and configurable event spaces that would stand the test of time. The multiple roof systems on the project — including the plaza deck surrounding the arena — were essential in delivering on these goals.

Dickies Arena features a domed main roof with a cupola at the top that pays homage to its historic neighbor. “One of the major themes, especially of the dome roof structure itself, was to have a kind of throwback to the original Will Rogers Center, which is still there,” says Eric Nelson, AIA, RID, CCCA, vice president at HKS, the architect of record for Dickies Arena. “The Will Rogers Center was one of the first buildings of its type to have a long-span steel truss roof system. We used that existing structure as the inspiration for the roof structure inside the arena. We have these very thin, elegant looking trusses that are very art deco.”

The new structure’s domed roof is surrounded by low-slope roofs and complemented by two towers topped with metal roofs. Dickies Arena also features a pavilion with a standing seam metal roof, which sits on a plaza deck that serves as an outdoor event space as well as a giant roof system covering exhibit space and areas for housing rodeo livestock. The venue is also designed to provide excellent acoustics for concerts and features luxurious millwork and finishes throughout to provide a touch of elegance. “I like to say that it’s a rodeo arena, but it’s designed like an opera house,” Nelson says.

It took an experienced team of design and construction professionals to envision and execute the project, including HKS, the architect of record; David M. Schwartz Architects, the design architect; The Beck Group, the general contractor; Jeff Eubank Roofing Co., Inc., the roof system installer; and Sunbelt Building Services LLC, the insulation distributor and installer of the plaza deck.

The Dome

The roof system specified for the dome featured an 80-mil PVC system with decorative ribs manufactured by Sika Sarnafil. “The roof system is one that we use pretty regularly on our large sports projects, the Feltback PVC,” notes Nelson. “It’s a lot more durable than other single-ply roof membranes, so we really like it a lot. Dickies Arena is an arena that wasn’t just built for the next 20 years; it’s meant to be there for the next 100 years, so we wanted to make sure we used nothing but the highest-quality materials, especially with all of the hailstorms that we can get out there in Fort Worth.”

The roof system installer, Jeff Eubank Roofing Co., Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, tackled the dome roof first, followed by the low-slope sections and the metal roofs. Work on the dome roof began in July of 2018. “The project progressed pretty quickly,” says Jeff Eubank, vice president of Jeff Eubank Roofing Co. “The dome in and of itself was like two different projects. The top half of the dome is pretty workable and walkable, and the bottom 40 percent of the dome is almost vertical.”

The Sarnafil Decor system was installed over an Epic acoustical deck, which posed some logistical and safety challenges. “We had to engineer special anchors because a typical tie-off anchor could not be used,” Eubank explains. “Before we could set foot on the job, we had to engineer special tie-off anchors which nested into the acoustical deck.”

Eubank and a structural engineer worked with Epic Deck to construct anchor points that would meet requirements for fall arrest. The half-inch aluminum, F-shaped anchors were designed to rest in the flutes of the acoustical deck and featured a ring provide a tie-off point. They were set in place using a crane.

Safety concerns included the Texas weather. “Our biggest challenge came with the heat,” says Eubank. “Summers in North Texas are brutal enough, but at the end of last summer, a high pressure system just stalled over Fort Worth. We were in the middle of a drought, with temperatures up to 110 degrees. You’re up on a deck with nowhere to hide, and with it was pushing 200 degrees up there. From a life safety standpoint, we ended up pushing t
Smiley N. Pool
Let’s celebrate some of the highlights and lament the misfires.

Here’s a look at big moments in architecture as we celebrate the highs, lows and uh-ohs of the departing decade in Dallas culture, 2010-2019.

Growing pains in the Arts District

It’s easy to take the Arts District for granted — easy, because even after a decade of building it still has a tendency to feel, well, kind of dead. It’s not for a shortage of big-name architects. Additions to the district over the last 10 years have included Norman Foster’s AT&T Performing Arts Center, OMA’s Wyly Theatre, SOM’s Moody Performance Hall, and Allied Works’ expansion of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A bevy of less-impressive towers are filling in around these signature projects, with the ill-conceived Museum Tower being the most notorious. While all this building has gone on, a master plan for the district has sat on a shelf, waiting for implementation. Most cities, one should note, make the urban plan, and then allow for the building. Here, we do it in reverse and pay the price, which is empty streets. Still, we have some really nice buildings, and with the new development, there is potential for new life.

The decade’s best new buildings in Dallas

Rather than a single champion, we spread the accolades among a group of projects that collectively make Dallas a better place: Test Pavilion at the Dallas Arboretum (Buchanan Architecture), the St. Michael and All Angels Columbarium (Max Levy), the Temple Emanu-El expansion (Cunningham Architects), College Park Pavilion (Snøhetta), the Cottages at Hickory Crossing (BC Workshop), Webb Chapel Park Pavilion (Cooper Joseph Studio), the Wyly Theatre (OMA), the Booker T. Washington expansion (Allied Works), the Warehouse (Droese Raney), Pacific Plaza Pavilion (HKS), the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at the Greenhill School (Weiss/Manfredi), the Science Building at the Lamplighter School (Marlon Blackwell), Bullion Restaurant (Gensler), 1217 Main St. (5G Studio), Rolex Building (Kengo Kuma), and Fire Station 27 (Perkins & Will).

Signature spans

In a fit of skyline-altering extravagance that we will probably never see again, Dallas managed to open not one but two bridges designed by Spanish shape-wizard Santiago Calatrava, each named for a beloved matriarch named Margaret. Like most everything built by Calatrava, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge were massively expensive, dogged by construction problems, needlessly grandiose, uniformly white and — arguably — beautiful. At least, with the former, there was a purpose in the ostentation: the creation of a signal gateway to West Dallas, which has rapidly gentrified since the bridge’s inauguration. Of course, despite the big price tag, the bridge made no accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists, a fact only partially ameliorated by the transformation of the erstwhile Continental Avenue Bridge into a car-free elevated park. Call that a victory.

The fall of sprawl’s thrall?

Yes, the cookie-cutter developments continued to sprout in the hinterlands, but the younger set returned to the city, and even those who remained out in the burbs clamored for reform. In Plano, in McKinney, in Frisco, and points beyond, suburban centers began emphasizing walkability and rail connection to the city, even as they remained principally automotive in nature. (They also became a lot more diverse.) Even Jerry Jones, always with a keen eye for opportunity, noticed the trend, the result being his own mini-city devoted to football: the Star, an antiseptic paradise for Cowboys fans.

The eternal quest for a Fair Park plan

Did you have a plan to save Fair Park? It seemed like everyone did during the 2010s. There were plans, and then more plans, and more plans after that. Every year, we heard lamentations about the state of affairs at the city’s crown jewel — too much concrete, no connection with the neighbors, underuse, decaying landmarks, flooding — and every year there was another plan to save the place that went exactly nowhere. It looked like we might just get through the entire decade with zero progress until, late in 2018, the city finally — finally — signed a 20-year deal with a private management firm with a solid history of running parks. Will this be the answer? The problems are still real, but there’s hope. And a $15 million
Gary Landsman
If only your office was as cool.

No, really. You might have a fancy rooftop deck, or a golf simulator, maybe even a white-tablecloth restaurant in the lobby. But you don't have the original costume Christopher Reeve wore in "Superman," or the Heart of the Ocean necklace Kate Winslet wore in "Titanic." And no way you have the sorting hat from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Those are just a few of the items on display in the Motion Picture Association's headquarters building in downtown D.C. The MPA moved in August from swing space at One Franklin Square back to its longtime home at 1600 Eye St. NW after a major repositioning by Trammell Crow Co. and Meadow Partners. The WBJ recently toured the improved space, designed by Gensler and chock full of stuff to geek out on if you're a fan of popular culture.

"What inspired this was kind of melding the idea of classic Hollywood and technology together," said John McKinney, a principal at Gensler who was part of the design team.

The building's showplace is its ground-floor event space facing Eye Street NW. Set against a wall fashioned to look like a movie curtain and interspersed with video screens showing TV or movie previews, you'll find a life-sized statue of Batman from "The Dark Knight Rises," a miniature space capsule from "Apollo 13," and the costumes Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto wore in "Star Trek: Into Darkness," among other things.

It's not a museum, mind you. It's a commercial office building redesigned for multiple occupants including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which plans to occupy about 14,000 square feet. But the MPA's members include the studios that brought Batman, Superman and Star Trek to the Silver Screen, and in this modern era of office as brand, the building features plenty of memorabilia on loan from those shops.

The association, with about 40 local employees and 200 globally, lobbies on behalf of its members just like every other government affairs shop. But it also holds plenty of events, including a couple of movie screenings a week on average in its freshly remodeled and expanded 118-seat theater, accessible from that ground-floor event space. It has hosted the likes of Charlize Theron in connection with a screening of "Bombshell," Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson for a screening of crime drama "Power," and Jane Fonda in connection with Mark Ruffalo's environmental drama "Dark Waters."

From there you can continue to a door leading into the building's main lobby, which also has a separate entrance at 888 16th St. NW. The MPA occupies about 30,000 square feet, including parts of the second floor and its main headquarters space on eight. As you might expect, there are all kinds of costumes and set pieces inside, including some of the weaponry from the "Men in Black" and a proton pack from the 2016 remake of "Ghostbusters."

That left Trammell Crow and Meadow with about 120,000 square feet to play with. The partners retained CBRE to market space, and having separate entrances helped downplay the impression that other companies would be taking remainder space the MPA didn't need.

"It was important to make sure that we kind of bring the building to current but also give an eye toward the future," said Jordan Goldstein, a principal and global design director for Gensler. "How does this building have a long life beyond its present and past?"

The MPA picked Trammell Crow Co. and Meadow Partners to reposition 1600 Eye as part of a competitive bidding process run by Savills Studley. The pair acquired a majority interest in the building for $32.25 million in 2017, while the association retained ownership of its space.

Renovations to the Brutalist structure, which dates back to the 1960s, included replacing the building's deep-set, punch-window facade with floor-to-ceiling glass, introducing a new fitness center, and converting mechanical equipment on the building's rooftop into usable, indoor-outdoor penthouse space. That prospect didn't come without its own drama, Goldstein said.

"The crazy thing is this building, which has some amazing views, had no rooftop, no occupiable rooftop whatsoever," Goldstein said. "In fact when we went out the first time and went to the corner, the building management at the time got a phone call from the White House. 'What are you guys doing?' Because the corner ironically, has a view between
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won permission for the world’s first timber football stadium in Gloucestershire at a second attempt

Forest Green Rovers Football Club’s 5,000-seat stadium was approved by Stroud District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (18 December).

In June, the same planning committee refused the plans, citing noise, traffic and impact on the environment. The proposals were subsequently altered.

Changes include swapping one grass pitch to an all-weather pitch with access to local clubs, a revised landscaping strategy, increased matchday transport and clarifications regarding noise.

The application also includes landscaped parking and two pitches, one a 4G playing surface with access for the local community.

Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition in 2016 to design a sustainable home for the now League Two side, which is the world’s first UN-certified carbon-neutral football club.

The club, which serves vegan food and is powered by renewable energy, is chaired by environmentalist Dale Vince, owner of green energy firm Ecotricity.

It is claimed the practice’s proposals would have created the first football stadium in the world to be built entirely from wood.

Every seat had been calculated to provide unrestricted sightlines to the entire field of play, maximising matchday atmosphere.

Forest Green Rovers, formerly known as Stroud FC, has been based at the New Lawn stadium in Nailsworth since 2006.

Following Vince’s acquisition of the club at the start of this decade, the venue received a flurry of green upgrades including solar panels, a solar-powered robot grass mower and the world’s first organic football pitch.

Vince said, when choosing the Zaha Hadid Architects proposals three years ago: ‘The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be entirely made of wood – the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world.

‘The importance of using wood is not only that it’s a naturally occurring material, it has very low carbon content – about as low as it gets for a building material.

‘And when you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important, and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest carbon content of any stadium in the world.’
Triple Five Group
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, American Dream Meadowlands has been a work in progress.

The project has outlived two developers and at least two general contractors, several lenders, the Great Recession and the rise of e-commerce, which has revolutionized the way Americans shop. First envisioned in 1996 as Meadowlands Xanadu, the concept has evolved over the last two decades to keep up with changing consumer tastes.

Under the ownership of Edmonton, Canada-based Triple Five Group, the mega mall complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is now coming to life in a transformation that many thought would never happen. ​

Despite the obstacles and delays, American Dream began opening in stages this fall, with a grand opening set for Spring 2020 that will make it the East Coast’s largest retail, entertainment and dining attraction. The $6 billion venue will set the pace for the future of U.S. mall development — mixing fashion, fun and food in a family-friendly, weather-controlled environment.

The complex, which is adjacent to MetLife Stadium, spans more than 3 million square feet encompassing more than 450 stores, more than 100 restaurants and 18 acres of entertainment space.

Finishing touches

During a tour of the 11-building complex last week, workers were busy putting finishing touches on most of the spaces, although the amusement park and ski slope areas have been open since October. In spite of protective floor coverings and plain gray hoarding walls, the high-end materials underneath hinted at richly outfitted interiors.

The look is more Vegas-style luxury than suburban shopping mall, including ceramic and marble tile floors and bathrooms, custom-made railings and a massive hand-blown glass and crystal chandelier. Most of the buildings feature open floor plans that benefit from plentiful natural light streaming from ceilings as high as 138 feet made from materials like Pilkington Planar glass facades, ETFE panels and glass skylights.

The project's six atriums will feature distinctive amenities ranging from an extensive garden, bird-filled aviaries, rabbit fields and programming stages.

American Dream has been a massive undertaking for PCL, one of the country's largest contractors, which has mobilized hundreds of employees from its offices across the U.S. since it joined the project in 2013.

PCL remained on as the only general contractor on the project after Whiting-Turner pulled out six years ago, and the amount of its construction contract is approaching $2 billion, according to Wayne Melnyk, PCL's vice president of major projects. Press reports also show that Skanska was the original GC for the water park.

The Canadian firm, with U.S. headquarters in Denver, has overcome various challenges at American Dream including multiple roofing re-dos, tens of millions of dollars’ worth of other change orders and enough permits and inspections to operate a small city.

Even though it is the largest project ever completed by the company's Building Division in size and budget, PCL is no stranger to mega mall construction. It collaborated with Triple Five on West Edmonton Mall in Canada in the 1980s and the Mall of America in Minnesota, which opened in 1992.

“PCL makes it look easy,” Armlin told Construction Dive. “They have so many teams and systems in place to make it go smoothly but it’s actually been very complex.”
The architects wanted to create a fantasy playground that blurred the boundaries of imagination between parents and their children

Meland Club in Wuhan, China, has a few of the elements you might find at a playground near you, such as a ball pit, slides, and a climbing area—but that's where the similarities end. Make no mistake about it, this facility is unlike any playground you’ve ever seen. The work of Chinese architecture firm X+LIVING, the indoor playground was designed to appeal to parents and children alike. “I wanted to create a space which provides parent-child interaction and an immersion experience for consumers.” says lead designer Li Xiang. “And I came up with the idea of using the concept of a fantasy kingdom to create a dream country that breaks through the boundaries of the imagination of parents and children.”

The charming design spans over 33,000 square feet and includes an equally vivid restaurant. Parents and children enter a whimsical welcome area with a mirrored ceiling and geometric floors and then move to a shoe storage area with car-shaped cabinets. From there, they step into Meland City, the center of the fun, and can explore the four levels of play space, which feature spots for reading, climbing, jumping, and mock-playing house. The area features stacked houses, inspired by the design of Potala Palace in Lhasa, China. At the southwest corner of the space is the fantastical purple ball pit, topped, like the rest of the play space, with a starry sky.

Pattern and color cover every surface of the playground. “The color scheme is totally different from all the past parent-child projects I'd worked on,” says Xiang. “I adopted a rich and dramatic stage color, which outlines the mystery and grotesqueness of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”

Clocks are also a motif used frequently throughout the space and are meant to be a reminder of the brevity of childhood. He also designed life-size cartoon dolls to add to the atmosphere and to help indicate signs and trash cans.

“Every detail [in the design] has a connection with the theme in order to emphasize coherence and consistency,” says Li. “The functional items in each space and thematic plots are mixed together to bring consumers a complete spatial experience.”

Nearly a decade ago, there were the 3D-printed scale models that Broadway set designers were using to visualize their stage productions. Then there were the first 3D-printed full-scale scenography components, with the likes of Daniel Auber’s production of Fra Diavolo at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in 2017. And now, 3D-printed concrete has made it to the dance stage, with a set of bespoke columns for the Origen Festival in Switzerland.

Origen’s winter showcases take place inside a renovated medieval castle, but its summer programme is on display in a theatre made along with nature: the walls of its open-air theatre are made of the Alps that envelop Riom, a bucolic village located an hour away from St. Moritz. There, nine intricately twisted columns, each nearly three metres high, emerge from the platform.

Titled Concrete Choreography, the pieces were devised, designed and manufactured by the students of ETH Zurich’s Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture, using robotic printing. The process allowed them to produce these elements without the need for formwork – they were printed hollow, with filling used strategically. Each one features a one-of-a-kind design and can be produced in full height in less than three hours.

‘Computationally designed material ornament and surface texture exemplify the versatility and significant aesthetic potential of 3D concrete printing when used in large-scale structures,’ said Benjamin Dillenburger, the ETH professor who oversaw the installation. ‘Framing and informing the dance performers of the summer season in Riom, the project demonstrates how technological advancements can bring efficient and novel expressions to concrete architecture.’
Los Angeles Clippers/AECOM
The Los Angeles Clippers have released initial renderings of their brand new 18,500-seat arena expected to open in 2024. Team owner Steve Ballmer and the city of Inglewood are moving forward with the $1 billion, 900,000-square-foot NBA arena over neighborhood concerns and lawsuits over the project,

Designed by local architecture and engineering firm AECOM, the metal-clad, oval-shaped arena is said to be inspired by the “swoosh” of a basketball net. Ballmer told ESPN, “I want it to be a noisy building… I really want that kind of energy.”

The grand vision includes a basketball arena, corporate office building, sports medicine clinic, retail, community and youth-oriented spaces, parking garages, a solar-panel-clad roof, indoor-outdoor “sky gardens,” and an outdoor game-viewing area with massive digital screens.

Ballmer’s goal is to create, “the best home in all of sports,” he said in a statement accompanying the release of the renderings. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, for fans, for sponsors and for the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that resets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.” Ballmer, one of the richest people in the world, will privately finance the mixed-use development.

The project must overcome several legal challenges that cloud its potential success. First, from the Uplight Inglewood Coalition, an organization looking to strengthen Inglewood residents’ political power, is suing the city on allegations that the city’s deal to sell the land for the arena violated California state law. The California Surplus Land Act requires that public land be prioritized for affordable housing development before any other uses. Housing costs in the area had soared since 2016, when the NFL agreed to let the Rams and Chargers relocate to Inglewood.

“In the midst of booming development—which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing—it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents without investing in the needs of residents,” Uplift Inglewood member D’artagnan Scorza said in a recent press release, “Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

Second, James Dolan, owner and CEO of Madison Square Garden, owner of the New York Knicks and the nearby Forum has also sued the city, accusing leaders of secretly negotiating with the Clippers to build on land that it once leased. The 26-acre complex will house all team operations, from corporate headquarters to the team’s training facility. The Clippers currently practice in Playa Vista, have a business office in downtown Los Angeles, and play at the Staples Center (shared with rival Lakers and NHL’s Kings since 1999). Their lease ends in 2024, putting pressure on team ownership to finish construction on time for the next season.
MAD Architects
Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects has won a competition for Zhejiang’s Yiwu Grand Theater with a proposal that’s stunning, sculptural and site-specific. Inspired by the Chinese junks that once sailed on the city’s Dongyang River, the Yiwu Grand Theater mimics the form of a glass-walled boat floating on the river while its subtle curves echo the Jiangnan-style eaves found in the region’s ancient vernacular architecture. Its facade of layered glass sails will be semitransparent to reduce overall energy consumption through passive solar means.

As the world’s largest wholesale commodities market, Yiwu has built its reputation on commerce, not culture. In a bid to elevate its soft power, the city hosted an international competition to design the Yiwu Grand Theater, a hub of arts and culture to be located on the south bank of the Dongyang River. The building will include a 1,600-seat grand theater, a 1,200-seat medium theater and a 2,000-person-capacity international conference center. The project will also offer new and easily accessible public green space with an amphitheater and large open plaza that extends into the water on its southern edge.

“The ‘Yiwu Grand Theater’ has been designed as a monument for the city that will serve to connect inhabitants to the waterfront from a new perspective,” the architects explained. “In its completion, it will stand as a world-class venue that will attract visitors from around the globe, putting Yiwu on the map as a cultural destination. The transparency and lightness of the glass express the texture of thin, silky fabric, creating a dynamic rhythm that makes them appear as if they are blowing in the wind. They act as a protective canopy around the building, resonating with the river, elegantly floating above the water’s surface, setting a romantic atmosphere.”

In addition to giving the Yiwu Grand Theater a sense of lightness in spite of its size, the semi-transparent glass curtain wall also helps to reduce heating and cooling costs while letting in ample amounts of natural light. In winter, the glass creates a solar greenhouse effect but can be opened up in summer to promote natural ventilation. The Yiwu Grand Theater is expected to begin construction in 2020.

Lauren Ghinitioiu
The Bjarke Ingels Group–designed MÉCA opens in Bordeaux, France, with toasts, a grand tour, and a rooftop party.

Back in 2006, Alain Rousset, president of the Regional Council of Aquitaine, called for a creative hub that could host three key local institutions: ALCA (an agency for books, cinema, and audiovisuals), OARA (a live performing arts organization), and Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine (a funder of contemporary art). Now these three organizations have a unified home: the Maison de l’Économie Créative et de la Culture en Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

"Artists will now have a great stage for creation, at all times of the year, for residencies of three weeks in length," says Director of OARA Joel Brouch. "Complementary studios will allow for research and experimentation, and the artists in residence will enjoy exceptional conditions. They'll also be paid for their projects."

"Artists will now have a great stage for creation, at all times of the year, for residencies of three weeks in length," says Director of OARA Joel Brouch. "Complementary studios will allow for research and experimentation, and the artists in residence will enjoy exceptional conditions. They'll also be paid for their projects."

On-site facilities include an exhibition hall, galleries, a cinema, production offices, and creative studios, to name a few. The grounds also feature a cafe/restaurant called CREM, a terrace, and riverfront views, all of which are available to artists in residence and the public alike.

The multilevel, 60,000-square-foot building is a significant development in a highly visible part of town—and President Rousset and the city of Bordeaux carefully plotted the course of its creation. They set up a competition between high-level architectural firms including Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), W-Architectures, Flint, and SANAA.

BIG surfaced as the clear choice for the project. "Bjarke Ingels has fully understood the complexity of grouping the three cultural institutions, the management between professionals and the general public, and the insertion of the building in the city," Rousset said at the opening ceremony.

The building is an angular spaceship wrapped with moon-colored concrete panels. As you drive by the site—where once stood an old slaughterhouse—on the banks of the Garonne river, the building shape-shifts, giving it a kinetic and energized presence.

MÉCA, a word that obviously nods to a certain holy meeting place, feels like a fitting acronym for what will now serve as the region's central hub for culture and art. "Some see an arch, a contemporary symbol of a new gateway in Bordeaux," says Rousset. "Others see a majestic ‘M.’"

The space opens to the public on Saturday, June 29th.
Monika Rittershaus
Andermatt, once a busy base of the Swiss federal army, had been in gradual decline since the end of the Cold War. The Alpine village has recently turned to its greatest asset, its natural beauty, and invested in a new future as a luxury holiday destination. Egyptian billionaire property developer Samih Sawiris was first invited to be a consultant on the town’s regeneration by local government, but was so enthused by the potential of the place that he decided to personally invest and lead the project.

Initially, plans included hotels, apartments, and chalets with skiing facilities and a golf course. However, after the construction of one of the hotels had started, Sawiris, a great fan of classical music, decided to build a world-class concert hall to create a year-round cultural attraction.

London-based Studio Seilern Architects was brought in to lead the project. The practice is run by Christina Seilern, Swiss architect and former head of Rafael Viñoly’s London office. She was commissioned after working on the design of a restaurant at the top of Andermatt’s ski slope.

Her challenge was to convert an existing underground space, originally for conferences and other events, into a spectacular performance venue. Seilern’s innovative solution was to raise the height of the ceiling to above ground level, doubling the internal volume and allowing natural light to burst into the hall. The move generates the capacity to host a full symphony orchestra and a seated audience of over 650, transforming a modest basement into a centerpiece space.

Most concert halls tend to be windowless boxes, but Andermatt’s glazing allows for a panoramic view of the surrounding sky and landscape. On a visit for its opening last week, Seilern conjured the romantic notion that an audience can enjoy music surrounded by falling snow or summer sun.

From ground level, the concert hall roof reveals itself as an elegant glazed pavilion, deceptively lightweight. Passers-by can take a peek at the performance below their feet and the folded timber-lined interior that wraps around the hall.

To make a simple concrete box function as a world-class concert hall, Seilern needed to work extensively with acoustic specialist Kahle Acoustics, and theater consultants Ducks Sceno. She adapted an “origami structure” to combine acoustic performance with sculptural form. Three cloud-like acoustic reflectors are suspended from the ceiling, and act like pieces of public art from street level. The precision-engineered space sounds and works beautifully, like the compact inner workings of a Swiss watch.

In the tight constraints of an underground site, the architect has managed to find a solution where both aesthetics and functionality are equally addressed. The success of the project has already been rewarded with a bigger commission from Sawiris to build the “El Gouna” concert and conference venue in Egypt.

The plan to develop this sleepy village into a luxury resort is an on-going project. More hotels and holiday apartments are yet to be built. In Switzerland, foreign buyers are heavily restricted from acquiring real estate. Interestingly, the Swiss government has made Andermatt a very rare exemption, allowing foreigners to buy and sell holiday properties there, perhaps that Switzerland is beginning to adapt to a global market.

On June 16th, a celebratory inaugural concert by the Berlin Philharmonic officially opened the Andermatt Concert Hall. The carefully designed Swiss watch has started ticking, as this small Alpine village begins a new chapter.
U.S. Air Force
The 2028 Summer Olympics (L.A. 2028), officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, are coming to the Los Angeles region in just nine years. The event will make Los Angeles only the third city in the world, behind Paris and London, to ever host the games three times, and could potentially cement the city’s status as a 21st-century global economic, entertainment, and cultural powerhouse.

But what will it take to get there?

Though L.A. 2028 has been billed by organizers and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a no-frills affair that will make use of existing or already planned facilities—“we could do the Olympics probably two months from now,” Garcetti quipped in a recent interview—the effort has become a symbolic capstone for a variety of ongoing urban and regional metamorphoses across Southern California.

This symbolic quality has transformed the Olympics from a novel pipe dream into a rallying cry for what could be the most transformative urban vision the city and region have seen in over a generation.

When L.A. last held the games in 1984, city officials made history by holding the first and only Olympic games that turned a profit. The effort’s success resulted from a distributed event model that used existing university student housing and training facilities to create a networked arrangement of mini–Olympic Villages across a region spanning from Santa Barbara to Long Beach. Organizers also presented a novel media strategy for the games by fusing spectacular and telegenic installations by Jon Jerde and colorful magenta, aqua, and vermilion graphics by environmental designers Deborah Sussman and Paul Prejza with the marvel of television broadcasting, giving the impression of a cohesive urban vision for the games despite the fact that some locales were more than 100 miles apart from each other.

For 2028, local officials are hoping to repeat and surpass these successes. Garcetti, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the private L.A. 2028 committee tasked with bringing the games to life have stated that unlike many recent Olympic games around the world, L.A. 2028 is designed on paper to break even, financially speaking—once again, mainly due to the lack of new purpose-built structures or venues that would be created for the event.

But these verbal and rhetorical gymnastics mask the full extent of the coming transformations and underplay both the scale of the games and the effects of what L.A. will have to accomplish to make them happen.

In reality, L.A. 2028 will not be possible without the completion of several key initiatives, namely, the ongoing expansion of Los Angeles County’s mass transportation network and the planned expansion and renovation of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

As part of a 50-year vision to double the size of the region’s mass transit network, Mayor Garcetti helped pass a sweeping ballot initiative in 2016 that will transform L.A.’s transportation system. Afterward, as Garcetti worked to secure the Olympic bid, he unveiled the Twenty-eight by ’28 initiative to speed up and prioritize certain transit improvements outlined in the 2016 plan so they can be completed in time for the games. In total, the plan aims to complete 28 infrastructure projects by the time the games begin.

One of the new transit lines due to be completed by 2028 will connect the southern end of the San Fernando Valley, where track and field and other events are to be held at the Valley Sports Park in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where the Olympic Village is to be located. There, the university is busy preparing to add 5,400 new student housing units. Up to 6,900 new student beds are envisioned by UCLA’s latest Student Housing Plan, while up to 1,400 additional student beds could be brought online at several other UCLA-adjacent sites, as well. Though these projects are being built to help address a severe shortage of student housing, they will also ensure that when Olympians arrive to compete in 2028, their accommodations will be in tip-top shape.

The southern end of the UCLA campus will connect to the forthcoming Purple Line subway extension, another project that is being sped up in preparation for the games. The line will link UCLA to Downtown Los Angeles, where many of the transit network’s lines converge. The 9-mile exte
Adam Mørk / International Olympic Committee
Copenhagen studio 3XN has completed Olympic House, a new headquarters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.

3XN collaborated with Swiss architecture office IttenBrechbühl to create the building, which has been designed around the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) principles.

"We designed the building around five key objectives that translate the Olympic movement's core values into built form: movement, transparency, flexibility, sustainability, and collaboration," Kim Herforth Nielsen, co-founder of 3XN, told Dezeen.

Built within a public park on the shore of Lake Geneva, Olympic House stands next to 18th-century castle Château de Vidy. Created as offices for the organisation's 500 staff, many of the building's elements reference the Olympics.

"Every part of the building has a meaning," said Jan Ammundsen, head of design at 3XN.

"From the dynamic glass facade that mimics the high-powered athleticism of an Olympic athlete, to the central staircase that references the iconic Olympic rings and the spirit of international collaboration that they represent."

The five-storey building is wrapped in a glass facade, which was created using parametric design – a digital process that allows you to test various design iterations.

Appearing differently from all angles, it is intended to represent the energy of an athlete. It also allows visitors to the park to see inside the building and observe the workings of the Olympic organisation.

"The visual transparency of the building is a metaphor for the new direction of the IOC as they strive towards a greater organisational transparency, reflected in the overall structural changes initiated by the Olympic Agenda 2020," explained Nielsen.

"The glass facade allows the daily work of the building’s inhabitants to be visible from the outside, and aThe headquarters is arranged around a central atrium, with all five storeys connected by the Unity Staircase.

lso celebrates its particular location by providing stunning views of the lake beyond."

This oak staircase, which has been designed to references the five rings on the Olympic flag, is surrounded by a meeting rooms and exhibition spaces, with a cafeteria on the ground floor.

"The staircase is designed to be visual expression of unity and collaboration within the organisation and the Olympic Games," added Nielsen.

Around the central atrium the offices have been designed to follow the Olympic core values of collaboration, flexibility and movement.

"At 3XN we believe that architecture shapes behaviour – thus, we have designed the interior with as few structural constraints as possible, in order to facilitate interaction and communication among the staff," added Ammundsen.

"The offices can be easily moved though the open spaces, and workspaces can be modified to suite the ever-changing needs of the organisation."
Tom Bonner
"Pacific Visions is unlike any other aquarium expansion project. We are taking a unique, unconventional approach in creating a space where the focus is on the one species that is affecting all others on Earth: humans. Pacific Visions is a place where scientists, policymakers, and the public can come together to explore solutions to create a better future for all.” — Urbanize LA

Since its debut on June 20, 1998, the Aquarium of the Pacific has been an iconic landmark and public attraction to the city of Long Beach. The 5-acre public aquarium attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year. The aquarium features over 11,000 animals with an emphasis on exhibits highlighting information about the animals, their habitat, and conservation efforts.

With the expansion taking over two years to complete, the $53-million project will make its official debut on Friday, May 24. The new expansion, called Pacific Visions, is a two-story, 29,000 square foot structure which will offer interactive exhibitions, an art gallery, and 300-seat theatre.

The structural form of the expansion is designed by San Francisco- based architecture firm EHDD. Its biomorphic shape consists of over 800 panels that respond to its surrounding weather and lighting conditions. Its unique cladding creates an effect mirroring the effects of sunlight hitting the water. Pacific Visions is the aquarium's first major expansion since its doors opened in 1998. a Must see attraction the museum expansion was funded with the help of the City of Long Beach and private donors like American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Alex Welsh for The New York Times
A Lloyd Wright house, linked to the Black Dahlia murder, is now a photogenic backdrop for fund-raisers, music videos and cannabis gatherings.

In Los Angeles, where even houses get their proverbial close-ups as TV or movie locations, a property’s appeal can crest on its IMDb credits alone.

But only the Sowden House in the Los Feliz neighborhood can claim film cameos, a pedigreed architect and a history as the possible site of a grisly unsolved murder. Never mind the fact that the exterior entryway resembles a menacing maw, earning it the apt nickname “the Jaws house.”

Designed by 1926 by Lloyd Wright (the son of Frank Lloyd Wright), the Mayan Revival-style mansion most recently appeared in the TNT limited TV series “I Am the Night,” a fictionalized account of the Black Dahlia murder of an aspiring Hollywood actress, Elizabeth Short, in 1947.

Some believe that Ms. Short was murdered and mutilated in the basement of the Sowden House when it was owned by George Hodel, a prominent gynecologist who lived there from 1945 to 1950. Mr. Hodel was known for hosting wild parties in its basement.

Seven decades and five owners later, Sowden House is once again a swinging social center. Last year Dan Goldfarb, an entrepreneur and former hedge fund analyst from New York, bought the 5,600-square-foot, four-bedroom home for nearly $4.7 million with the idea to make it a cultural hub for cannabis. (Mr. Goldfarb is the founder of Canna-Pet, a company in Seattle that sells hemp-derived CBD products for cats, dogs and other pets.)

But Mr. Goldfarb, who has been called a “marijuana millionaire,” doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.

“There is this misconception that every event here is about cannabis,” he said on a sunny afternoon inside the sprawling living room. (In all fairness, however, it was hard to miss a sizable bong on the kitchen counter.) “This is not like ‘Cheech & Chong’ or a descent into ‘Reefer Madness.’”

Indeed, Mr. Goldfarb and his wife, Jenny Landers, have held fund-raisers for politicians (including one for Representative Katie Hill, Democrat of California) and nonprofits (Kindred Spirits Care Farm, which teaches students about farming). The house has also been used for a music video (for the XX song “I Dare You”), photo shoot (In Style magazine), art exhibition (by the Gagosian Gallery) and dance performance (for HomeLA, an arts group).

“You really don’t need to add much to the house because it has so much character,” Ms. Landers said.

The couple have no plans to redecorate (the furnishings were included in the sale), and they arrived at their new home in a minivan with just cats — eight of them — and suitcases. An 11-foot sofa fronts an ottoman fit for an ogre. A giant antique Japanese door serves as a coffee table.

“Everything is scaled up, like in “Alice in Wonderland,’” Mr. Goldfarb said. “A normal couch would look rinky-dink in here.”

With its undulating textile block walls, soaring ceilings and pavilion courtyard, the home certainly craves a crowd. Empty, it’s as incongruous as a woman in a ball gown at a bus stop.

The original owners, John Sowden and his wife, Ruth, envisioned it as a bohemian playhouse for aspiring actors and Hollywood bons vivants. The once grassy courtyard served as seating during performances. Now, a wading pool and an ornate fountain shimmer in the sunlight.
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium, a billowing, nautically-inspired venue in the coastal city of Al Wakrah, Qatar, is now open to the public.

Together with AECOM, ZHA drew on the shape of dhows, long, thin traditional sailing boats, to create the swooping curves of the Al Janoub Stadium’s roof. When the 40,000-seat soccer stadium (collapsible to 20,000 after the World Cup) was first revealed, however, commentators were quick to point out its yonic shape and textures. The supposedly fleshy creases are formally meant to reference large sails, while the curved sections are supposed to approximate dhows turned over on their hulls to provide shelter.

Adding further complexity to the roof are the pleated panels that cascade down the sides of the building, connecting at the eaves to bronzed lattices on the lower stories. The lower screens visually depart from the white and off-white panels above, but also reference traditional Islamic crafting techniques through their shape and metallic cover.

Inside, the stadium was designed to passively cool its patrons. The fully-operable polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) roof, designed by Schlaich Bergermann Partner unfurls along a cable track to protect spectators and players from the harsh summer sun.

The underside of the roof continues the nautical styling of the stadium’s exterior, with a coffered ceiling that meets circular, steel rigging at the center that’s crisscrossed with speakers, lights, and screens.

Al Janoub Stadium sits on top of a new landscaped podium, with large voids cut into the structure to allow for at-grade entry and vehicle access.
OMA new york + KOO
OMA has held off competition from two other high profile firms — morphosis and johnston marklee — to design a new arts center for the university of illinois at chicago (UIC). earlier this year, the institution initiated a contest that called for ‘an architecturally significant center for the arts that serves as a gateway and bridge between UIC and the world, and as a destination for innovative arts and cultural production.’

as the only public research university in chicago, the university of illinois at chicago (UIC) provides a rare combination of research excellence and public access to higher education. UIC’s school of theatre & music (STM) will be the primary occupant of the proposed center. every year, the school presents four main stage theater productions and more than 50 concerts, all of which are open to the public. in developing their proposals, OMA, morphosis, and johnston marklee each partnered with a chicago-based architect — KOO, STL architects, and urbanworks architecture respectively.

as a public, urban hub for performance and gathering, and a home for the school of theatre and music, the project required an 88,000-square-foot building with a 500-seat vineyard-style concert hall and a 270-seat flexible mainstage theater, as well as instrumental and choral rehearsal halls and theater production shops. supporting facilities, a donor lounge, a small café/jazz club and exhibition space will also be included.

OMA/KOO’s winning concept design proposes two towers: a student tower that faces the campus and opens to a performance park along the peoria street bridge, and a public tower that looks to the cityscape and opens to a phase one screening plaza along halsted street. large ramps flow from the street to an ‘accessible topography of performances’ on the second level, connecting the outdoor and indoor performances spaces, including the concert hall between the towers, and the phase two mainstage theatre on halsted street. production spaces line harrison street on the ground floor.

the scheme is topped with a translucent, tent-like roof with embedded photovoltaics that stretches from and between the towers, covering the concert hall and the mainstage theatre. the colors of the performance space volumes would shine through the translucent areas. ‘we are honored to be awarded this project that will serve as a new cultural anchor for the students of UIC and the city of chicago,’ says OMA partner shohei shigematsu. ‘our design focuses on fostering dialogue between performance and the public — the new building will be a connector between the city and UIC’s urban campus.’

Laura Dickinson
Thousands of color-changing fiber optic lights transform a Paso Robles landscape at the long-awaited art display off Highway 46 East.

The Field of Light at Sensorio — a massive illuminated installation that fills 15 acres of oak tree-lined fields — was created by artist Bruce Munro and commissioned by Ken Hunter, co-owner of Hunter Ranch Golf Course.

The solar-powered display, located at 4380 Highway 46 East, was installed as an introduction to Sensorio, a garden and interactive art attraction Hunter has been planning for years.

Hunter recently put the nearby golf course on the market to allow him to further devote his passion to the project. Sensorio will eventually feature a wine center and resort hotel, in addition to the garden and art display.

“This is a dream come true for Bobbi and I,” Hunter said of Sensorio at Wednesday’s media preview. “It’s something that started in my head some 50 years ago.”

Munro has been installing Field of Light displays at locations around the world since the early 2000s.

“Everywhere it goes, it’s different,” he said. “The one constant is it makes people smile.”

Hunter and his wife, Bobbi, first saw Munro’s Field of Light on display in Uluru, Australia, during a vacation and decided to bring the installation to the Central Coast.

The Paso Robles installation is Munro’s biggest to date, with 58,800 glowing “stemmed spheres” that illuminate the hills in a patchwork of ever-changing colors and draw attention to the shadowy outlines of the oak trees scattered around the site.

The display is lit around dusk, but the magic really starts as the landscape transitions into darkness. Walkways built into the landscape guide visitors around the display, giving them multiple angles and heights from which to view the lights.

The installation is perfect for Instagram-worthy photos, but Hunter and Munro both hope visitors will put down their phones and take some time to appreciate the environment screen-free.

“It’s about connecting to the landscape,” Munro said.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the installation while sipping wine or beer, which will be available for purchase on-site. Live music and food trucks will also offer entertainment and refreshments.


The Field of Light will be on display Wednesdays through Sundays until Jan. 5, 2020. It’s open from 7 to 11 p.m. Adult admission is $27 on Wednesday and Thursday and $30 Friday through Sunday.

Tickets for children age 12 and under are $9 on Wednesday, $18 on Thursday and $19 Friday through Sunday. Children under age 2 receive free admission.

For more information, visit sensoriopaso.com or call 805-226-4287.
John Vorhees. Alfred A. Knopf Publishing
Paul Goldberger has a new book out, released just this week, entitled Ballpark: Baseball in the American City. Taking a page from the Ken Burns playbook, the book looks at a particularly American building type as a lens for looking at the broader culture of cities. Goldberger’s premise is a good one: Ballparks do parallel, to a remarkable degree, trends in American urbanism. They start as escape from the city, then the city builds up around them. Post–World War II, they escape to the suburbs, then decades later return to the city. Today, privatization of the public realm and real estate development are driving the agenda. Recently I talked with Goldberger about the new book and a whole slew of magical ballparks, both living and long gone.

Martin C. Pedersen: MCP
Paul Goldberger: PG

MCP: Let’s start with two questions: Why does a Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic write a book about baseball stadiums? And for those not interested in baseball, why do ballparks matter?

PG: We could talk for half an hour on the second question. But I’ve always found there’s something magical about a baseball park, about the way it’s both city and country woven together in the most miraculous way. I remember as a kid, the first time I went to Yankee Stadium, being blown away by the most beautiful lawn I’d ever seen in my life, and I grew up in the suburbs, where there were lots of lawns. But I’d never seen one like this, and it was right in the middle of the Bronx. That juxtaposition was powerful for me.

In 2009, when I was at the New Yorker, David Remnick asked me to write about Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, both of which opened that year. As I researched the piece, I realized how the history of baseball parks is also the history of American cities. It’s a mirror to how we’ve viewed our cities and what we think about them. Baseball parks are a significant part of the public realm; they’re a public experience, in an age when so much is pushed toward private and virtual experience.

MCP: Early in the book, you write about the golden era of baseball stadiums. Talk about some of those ballparks.

PG: The early years of the 20th century are when the idea of the ballpark as a civic building emerges. The ones I highlight are Crosley Field, in Cincinnati; Tiger Stadium, in Detroit—a terrible loss; Wrigley Field, in Chicago; Fenway Park, in Boston; and Ebbets Field, in Brooklyn, which was probably the most tragic loss of all.

MCP: So much mythology grew up around Ebbets Field because so many authors have written about it. Toward the end, though, it was a failing ballpark. What makes it one of the greatest baseball stadiums ever?

PG: The mythology is deeply intertwined with the history of the team, which was incredibly colorful, and an amazing group of fans. So the stadium had a sort of astonishing personality. It was intimate but had a certain aspiration to grandeur at the same time. It emerged out of a time when baseball was a commanding presence in Brooklyn. Baseball was almost an indigenous local sport, with a lot of teams, and a lot of smaller ballparks—Washington Park, and many others—all culminating in the great cathedral of Ebbets Field, which opened in 1913. But it’s also true that by the 1950s, Ebbets had become incredibly rundown. It was always cramped and awkward. It emerged out of a time when we built wonderful public places that, paradoxically, never had enough public space in them. It’s not unlike the way the old Broadway theaters are today.

On the other hand, Ebbets Field had an energy that came from a certain degree of compression. It’s the same way that if you have a dining room table that seats eight people and you squeeze in 10, and they all like each other, they’ll have a better time. Ebbets had that quality and just enough monumentality to give it some architectural airs, but not enough to ever get in the way of the game. Like all great public places, it had a kind of harmonic balance to it. But there’s no question a lot of the myth comes from the people in it—most of all, of course, the team on the playing field.
Ema Peter
The Xiqu Centre puts classical Chinese opera at the gateway to a new cultural district in Hong Kong—and creates a new public plaza in the process.

lassical Chinese opera is a vivid art form with flamboyant costumes and face paint, elaborate movements, and a boisterous mix of vocals and percussion. Also known by its Chinese name, Xiqu, the form developed during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and regional variations are included on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage practices.

Xiqu’s significance has recently gained further recognition in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, the city opened the world’s first performance venue specifically designed for classical Chinese opera. Designed by Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects) in collaboration with local architect Ronald Lu & Partner, the $347-million Xiqu Centre is a solid foundation for celebrating—and reinventing—the heritage Chinese art form.

The seven-storey, 30,000-square-metre performance hall stands at the entrance of the West Kowloon Cultural District. The 40-hectare area, masterplanned by Foster+Partners, is slated to become Hong Kong’s primary arts precinct, with 17 cultural venues and a central park. The building’s distinctive curvilinear form evokes the seamless movements in Xiqu, while effectively setting the cultural destination apart from the boxy glass towers in the neighboring shopping area.

The building is further distinguished by its façade, composed of 13,000 CNC-cut marine-grade aluminum alloy fins, connected by stainless steel brackets to the building’s aluminum cladding. The curvilinear fins echo the building’s overall form. The composition was generated through a parametric digital model, and during construction, a full-scale mockup of a section of the façade was built onsite. These processes streamlined the façade’s fabrication and installation, ensuring that no material was wasted.

The aluminum fins are finished without paint or coating. Instead, each piece was blasted with glass beads, effecting a subtle finish that changes in shifting light. The building exhibits different personas according to the weather: on a cloudy day, it is a serious protagonist dressed in grey; at dusk, it is a lively dancer shimmering in gold.

At the four corners of the roughly square building, arched openings resemble parted stage curtains. They invite passers-by to glimpse inside the Centre. Particularly welcoming is the 20-metre-high main entrance facing Canton Road. Its sheer scale entices visitors to enter the Xiqu Centre’s predominantly white atrium space, with its dramatic red-and-white abstracted chandelier. The atrium—which is accessible to the public 24/7, and occasionally stages free events—acts as a threshold to the entire cultural district.

A public-realm atrium was not part of the client’s initial brief, which called for a structure with a 1,073-seat Grand Theatre, a 200-seat Tea House Theatre, and training and administrative facilities. But upon investigation of the site, the architects realized that the Grand Theatre, if placed on the ground level, would entirely occupy the 1,260-square-metre site and limit the building’s porosity. The team decided to suspend the Grand Theatre above the site, an audacious move that solved another issue—it isolates the performing space from the vibration and noise of an underground high-speed rail line.

Lifting the Grand Theatre four storeys above ground was no easy task. Six mega-columns and two doubled six-metre-high roof trusses support the weight of the 1,800-tonne theatre. The roof structure was first built on the ground and then raised halfway up the giant columns with hydraulic strand jacks. The columns were then reinforced with temporary concrete tie beams, before the roof structure was lifted to its final position, 48 metres above the ground. The underside of the theatre was also eventually raised to connect with the roof hangers.
Iwan Baan
New York City

For years, Manhattanites have suffered Brooklyn envy as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and other institutions based in that borough have taken the baton of avant-gardism from Manhattan and run with it at uncatchable speeds. Manhattan was stuck. Many arts lovers hankered to be on the far side of the East River, living in other zip codes.

Now New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), in collaboration with Rockwell Group, has built a cure. Early this month, the Shed, a huge eight-level cultural venue in Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s new development on the far west side, opened to the jazzy syncopations of marching bands and drummers, led by Howard University’s Showtime band. Sousaphones swayed as the musicians snaked through the standing crowds in a 2,000-capacity mosh pit called the McCourt that sits within the extended retractable shell of the Shed—a voluminous, 115-foot high adaptable space with a steel armature resembling the skeletal bones of a “gigantosaurus.” Like the top of a convertible, the entire ballooning volume had been moved out—rolling on eight huge steel bogie wheels, 6 feet in diameter—from the structural-steel, glass, and concrete-base building of the Shed, which backs into a new 88-story residential tower, also designed by DS+R.

After the rousing opening, the concert continued on a temporary stage as musicians performed “The Soundtrack of America,” the first of a five-evening program of African American musical history produced by the British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, at the invitation of the Shed’s artistic director and CEO, Alex Poots.

While that series unfolded, other visual and performing works opened elsewhere in the Shed, showing off just how nimble the architecture is. A stack of four adaptable loftlike spaces, each about 12,500 square feet, make up the base building (which cleverly poaches on the infrastructure of its host, the residential tower, doubling up on plumbing, elevators, and fire stairs, and gaining back-of-house areas and offices). One major debut was a synesthetic program, combining a digitally animated mural by Gerhard Richter and music by Steve Reich composed to the same algorithms, in the 19-foot-high gallery on level two. Artist Trisha Donnelly’s enigmatic untitled installation commandeered level four, while in the Griffin Theater on level six—23 feet high and temporarily configured with a proscenium stage and raked seating—Renée Fleming sang in an original performance piece, Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, written by the poet Anne Carson. Fleming’s costar, Ben Whishaw, transformed himself into Marilyn Monroe in a play that ended, as it must, sadly.

The performances and art pieces—original, ambitious, daring works that tested the $475 million building for flexibility—provide a foretaste of the scope of Poots’s goal to present newly commissioned works that cross disciplines for diverse audiences, whose tastes may range from street art to the intellectually occult. The Shed is the platter on which art that is not yet imagined will be served; it’s a garage for creative start-ups. As Dan Doctoroff—deputy mayor in the Bloomberg administration who helped initiate the creation of Hudson Yards and is now board chairman of the Shed—explained, the institution got its name because it is “an open shelter for tools.”

Sheathed in inflatable ETFE, the Teflon-like material that looks like bubble wrap, the Shed has a charismatic urban presence, especially at night, when it glows like a Japanese lantern along the Hudson Yards’ southern edge, adjacent to the High Line. The main south entrance is at street level, below the High Line, while the north entrance is at the higher level off Hudson Yards’ plaza.

But the Shed is not so much an object as a performance. Leaving its position against the indented side of DS+R’s residential tower, the shell rides on tracks with elephantine slowness and grace, and, fully telescoped out, at 17,000 square feet, it doubles the footprint of the base building. Two rack-and-pinion systems on the roof, each with six 15-horsepower motors, drive the movement with a combined 180 horsepower (compared to a 134-horsepower Toyota Prius).

With state-of-the-art industrial parts taken from gantries and other portside structures, the design makes an unmistakable contextual reference to the wharves that once lined the Hudson River waterfront,
Gensler/Ryan Gobuty
Barbara Bouza, co-managing director of Gensler’s Los Angeles office, explains how her firm’s project served the local community as well as the city at large.

NOMA-Nominated is a new, ongoing Metropolis series that spotlights exceptional projects nominated by National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) chapter leadership. This project was named by Lance Collins, current president of SoCalNOMA and a director of Partner Energy in Los Angeles.

When it opened in April last year, Los Angeles’s Banc of California Stadium offered an arena for an atypical professional American sport: soccer. It’s a pastime that’s becoming increasingly popular across the country, especially for Angelenos, many of whom have cultural connections to soccer-loving nations around the world.

The 22,000-seat project, accessible by the Metro Expo Line and part of an economic revitalization plan for the Figueroa Corridor, was the first open air stadium to be built in L.A. since 1962. Gensler, who designed the project for the major league Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), took full advantage of the outdoors, laying out the seating in shallow terraces to encourage a sense of proximity with the action on the field (the move is described as “European-style”). The biggest architectural gesture is the siting of the stadium itself: a soaring, open canopy of ETFE frames cinematic views to Downtown L.A. But from the start, the stadium was also conceived of as a draw for the community even outside of soccer season. It offers 37,000 square feet of new development, including multicultural eateries, a restaurant, and retail; it also accommodates additional programming like concerts and local sports practice.

For Barbara Bouza, co-managing director and principal and leader of Gensler’s global Health & Wellness practice, the project is emblematic of the firm’s L.A. office’s dedication to community-based design. As the 2019 president of AIA Los Angeles and a member of SoCalNOMA, she is a leader in the city’s architecture community. “As an African-American woman, I’m in such a small, small minority of my profession,” she says. “We make up 0.3 percent—so not even a percent—of the architecture profession. I want to make sure I can be a positive example for students, because we’re looking at how we diversify the pipeline of the profession… so it can reflect the communities we serve. That’s a passion of mine.”

Here, Bouza discusses what Gensler took into account in designing the stadium, and how she sees the project in the context of the local community.

Soccer represents such a melting pot. To most of the world outside the U.S., soccer is a global sport. You don’t need to speak the same language, but you play by the same rules on the field. In L.A., and specifically along the Figueroa Corridor, there is such a diverse community, with different incomes, races, languages, food, and art. Soccer becomes a unifying activity. It brings everybody together.

When you’re sitting in the stadium, you know you’re in Los Angeles. There’s an engagement at the street level, and then there’s engagement with the city once you’re in the stadium. You’re not like, “I could be anywhere in the USA.”

I think with any project there’s an opportunity to figure out how it’s going to benefit the community as a whole. I give the client a lot of credit. They had the mindset from day one that this is the city’s stadium. We asked, where is the ultimate benefit to the community? At Gensler, we look at a broad, holistic spectrum that covers human wellbeing. In practice, health and wellness means everything from wellbeing in the work environment, to the integration of sports, up to clinical and healthcare spaces. So how does a project have a bigger purpose? The stadium was a catalyst for jobs in the local community, and LAFC made a point of hiring from the local community for construction jobs and employment at the stadium.

We worked with city leaders and members of the local community at multiple levels. For example, when you look at the scale of the stadium, it’s very intimate compared with other professional sports stadiums. Everybody’s engaged because of the way it’s designed. There are seats that are very close to the field. The design team studied FIFA house guidelines and tried to think outside the box and stretch the boundaries. The proximity of seats to the field is tighter than what you typically see.

We worked with the 3252 [the Independent Supporters Union for the Los Angeles Football Club of Maj
Eydie Cubarrubia
It’s the slider phone of buildings.

The telescoping exoskeleton of the Shed, New York City’s new arts center that opened April 5, glides on six 6-ft-tall steel wheel assemblies upon 273-ft-long tracks adjacent to the High Line elevated park. When unused, the shell sits snugly over the structure’s static portion.

But when deployed—the way some early 2000s cellphones’ large screens covered or revealed their keypads—the 120-ft-tall husk, an exposed steel diagrid frame clad in 70-ft panels of a translucent Teflon-based polymer commonly called ETFE, covers the second-story plaza on the building’s east side. The space becomes the 7,000-sq-ft McCourt theater, which can be enclosed or open air and is warmed by a radiant heat floor plate.

If the area’s 1,250 seats or 2,000 standing room occupancy can’t accommodate crowds, the glass walls of two column-free galleries on the second and fourth stories can be opened, turning those sections into balconies and expanding capacity to 3,000 heads.

During a press event, team members on the $404-million project explained the materials, mechanics and structural design that are repurposed from the shipping, sailing and construction industries.

“The technology that moves it is [adapted] from gantry cranes,” says architect Liz Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “We’ve added technology that hoists—cranes, [sports stadiums’ retractable] roofs—into a building.”

The steel and kinetic systems were prefabricated in Italy, she says, by a fabricator that does infrastructure projects like the Panama Canal. The sled drive, on the base building’s roof, is a rack-and-pinion system with motors totaling 180 horsepower—less than an SUV’s engine, but sufficient, since the cladding insulates like glass but is only one one-hundredth of the weight, according to Diller.

Though the skin lets in light, certain performances will require blackout conditions, in terms of sun and sound. To create heavy black shades that help the shell muffle 108 decibels of live pop music, the team tapped a sailmaker, says Dan Doctoroff, chairman of the Shed’s board of directors. When not needed, the shades roll back and the sides of the shell can slide up “like a garage door,” Doctoroff says, transforming the space into a sort of open-air band shell.
Dominique Perrault Architecture
The project fits into the suburb’s plans for a more equitable future, but some are skeptical, as similar ambitions have not panned out at past games.

As the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics, Paris is the latest city to use the world’s largest sporting event as a massive regeneration tool. Just as London did in 2012, the French capital is hoping that it will be able to use the games to effect the economic transformation of a relatively neglected part of the metro area—in this case, the inner suburbs of Northern Paris. This spring, concrete details of the facilities that will help to bring about this hoped-for transformation are starting to trickle into the public domain.

Among the first are plans for the Olympic Village from the studio of architect and urban planner Dominique Perrault (known, among other projects, for his National Library of France and Berlin Velodrome) due to be erected on a riverside site in the suburb of Saint-Denis. The plan is especially significant because, like all Olympic Villages, the new quarter will transform into a regular neighborhood after the games, ideally bringing life to an ex-industrial corner of the metropolis. So will the village deliver?

This isn’t necessarily utopian hot air.

Perrault’s plan is for a mainly mid-rise development of apartment blocks grouped around a central complex containing offices, stores, and community facilities. Besides a large parking lot onsite, the streets linking these blocks will be car-free and will provide excellent connections to the city’s public transit system. This network’s great extension in this area is already underway with the construction of the Grand Paris Express, a 200 kilometer, 68-station expansion of the city’s metro system—almost all of it beyond the historic core—that should make Paris’s suburbs far more easily navigable. The Olympic Village will lie close to a new metro station that forms a junction for three of the Grand Paris Express’s new lines, making the area a hub for the whole of northern Greater Paris.

Visually, Perault’s plan looks likeable enough, though apart from its building materials and verdure cropping up fashionably on rooftops, it all looks pretty familiar, even slightly conservative. The charms of the plan, however, are arguably not in its appearance, but in its sustainability goals and attempts to open up a rather neglected stretch of the River Seine. All construction materials will be bio-sourced (which will mean a lot of wood), while the buildings should be either passive or energy plus (producing more energy than they consume). The complex’s many plants will be watered exclusively by stored rain and ground water, while every part of the neighborhood will be accessible to people with limited mobility.
Joe Aker
The NCAA Final Four took place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on April 6—and the National Championship will be decided there tonight—but it’s not just March Madness hoops action that is exciting attendees: the stadium itself is pretty cool (and sustainable, too). Designed by Loretta Fulvio of HKS, U.S. Bank Stadium has been in the spotlight since its 2016 opening, including as the site of Super Bowl LII in 2018. Its six clubs pose an attractive alternative to traditional stadium seating, offering great views and the chance to see teams leaving locker rooms and entering the field (when home team, the Minnesota Vikings, are playing). But even in the stands, visitors can feel good about making a positive impact: 91 percent of waste is recycled, composted, or donated, due to the concession stands using compostable packaging. And the entire venue is run on wind power.

“It was a common goal for all of us,” says Fulvio, speaking on the stadium's sustainability. “You can’t deliver a building in this location without it. You want to design an envelope that can take all that pressure with materials that are hard-wearing but natural, like concrete.”

One of the biggest factors of sustainability in U.S. Bank Stadium is the roof, which allows natural light to enter the vast space. Of course, natural light isn't required for the Final Four championship games, which take place in a darkened setting. In preparation, fabric was attached to roof bays to darken the stadium, curtains created walls, and custom seating was installed on the field space around the court.

Minnesotan hospitality was a huge factor for Fulvio, who took note of the experience when designing the six spaces: Mystic Lake's Club Purple, Delta Sky360 Club, Medtronic Club, FMP Club, Buffalo Wild Wings Club, and Hyundai Club. They feel comfortable, but are also close to the action, and however luxurious the clubs may be, they still feel like home.

“It has been an honor to work on this project because of the people,” Fulvio says, “and how proud they are. It runs in their blood. You can see it in the artwork installed. You can see the personality of the stadium through and through.”
Last week, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) unveiled three short-listed proposals for a performing arts center. Two of the finalist designs, by OMA and Johnston Marklee, take strong cues from Walter Netsch’s arch-Brutalist UIC campus—one of Chicago’s least understood bits of architectural history. The third, by Thom Mayne’s Morphosis, staunchly stands apart from Netsch’s legacy.

Located at the campus’s northeastern corner adjacent to a freeway and a Blue Line El stop, the arts center will be a gateway to the school, adding a 500-seat concert hall and 270-seat theater. This new home for the university’s School of Theater and Music comes with an estimated budget of $94.5 million. Each proposal (crafted by a major national or international firm partnered with a local architect of record) is designed to be phased in gradually, offering flexibility for a project that is still raising the money needed.

Designed and built in the mid-1960s, Netsch’s UIC campus is one of the most singular academic environments in the nation. Unabashedly Brutalist, its imposing, fortress-like buildings of stone, brick, and concrete were connected by elevated ramps, and feature stacks and layers of rotated cubes with a logic (one Netsch called “field theory”) all their own. Some of the SOM architect’s original designs for the campus went unbuilt, including “Project Y,” a performing arts center that would span the nearby freeway, and was planned for roughly the same site as the new proposals.

OMA’s concept for the new performing arts center consists of two glass towers flanking the main concert hall, with the smaller theater situated at the eastern end of the site. The hall’s seating arrangement is a rotated square, a la Netsch’s field theory. The two venues are conceived as opaque and colorful articulated volumes under a curving fabric membrane that caps an expansive roof terrace to form a “covered park,” said OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, whose firm was paired with the local practice KOO. A system of ramps, reminiscent of Netsch’s no-longer-intact elevated walkways, connects to the building’s main lobby and echoes some of the material heft of the Brutalist campus. “It’s a way to re-introduce people to the core concepts of a lot of what happens within the Netsch design, but to do it in more modern way,” OMA’s Christy Cheng told RECORD.

Johnston Marklee’s plan is a pair of ziggurats—one is turned upside-down—that each contain a performance venue and are separated by an atrium lobby. Firm principle Mark Lee noted “there’s something very archaic and ancient” about the right-side-up form, in contrast to the upside-down ziggurat, famously seen in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim and at Netsch’s University Hall less than a block away. Lee said it carefully nods to the Brutalist massing and articulation of Netsch’s campus, where volumes are often stacked and rotated. “If you look at the diagram and squint, it could be a Brutalist building,” he said, speaking to RECORD. But a closer look reveals a radically different materiality. The outside is clad in system of perforated metal half-cylinders that will glow at night with interior lighting. The building’s scalloped facade is midway between rigid and lofty, and has “a certain gaiety to it,”said Lee, whose firm was paired with UrbanWorks.

By contrast, Mayne told RECORD his proposal is a “complete break” with the mid-century campus. His design offers Morphosis’ signature canted and twisted massing, making its exact volume difficult to intuit at first glance. With a vaguely boomerang-like form, a shallow angle at its center separates the two performance venues. Hoisted up on pilotis, renderings show a facade with pixelated apertures—“a texture that’s breaking down the scale, but is also acting as windows,” said Morphosis principal Arne Emerson, who developed the design with Chicago’s STL Architects. Inside, monumental terraced stair seating leads to the halls. Perhaps most uniquely, accessibility ramps in both spaces make even the back-of-house rigging catwalks totally accessible.

Given the campus’ strong aesthetic identity, the question for the school will be whether to add a totally new formal precedent to a place that’s always seemed a bit out-of-this-world, or to begin with bits of Netsch’s design language, and evolve them towards contempora
Rubén BCN in CAT, taken from commons.wikimedia.org
The popularity of organized sports continues to increase, and digital media have dramatically boosted the immense innate appeal of athletic games. The money involved is huge. It may well exceed € 1 trillion, over half of which is linked to association soccer and American football. At the emotional heart of every match, and at the economic center of the entire sporting industry, is the physical space where the games are played. And because sports stadiums are such a huge investment, cities and owners have been dramatically rethinking their use and design.

What is a stadium?
A stadium is a partially enclosed place in which outdoor sports are played. Arenas, on the other hand, are normally places in which traditionally indoor sports are played. Domed stadiums blur that line, as these may be fully covered like an arena but still have as their main purpose the playing of traditionally outdoor sports. Some domed stadiums now feature a retractable roof, like the impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Apart from that, the question of what a stadium is lies at the heart of both new stadium construction and the refurbishing of older structures.

Emphasizing the customer experience
At the core of the new thinking is the customer experience. For instance, better seating for match spectators and massive video screens make the action on the field accessible to every corner of the stadium. Meanwhile, clever apps let visitors download tickets and find their seat or the nearest restroom. New stadiums are huge and good navigation is important.

But fans these days are not only there to watch. They also want to participate in the experience. In the digital age, people do that with handheld devices, supported by things like new high-speed Wi-Fi for improved internet access. And new high-speed, in-seat wireless charging keeps everyone powered up throughout the match.

Increasingly, robust cellular connectivity for the high-density user environment is provided by 4G LTE. 5G is the next step and has been tested at major stadium events. Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium plans to become the first European football stadium with a permanent, dedicated 5G network.

Going beyond the game
Beyond the digital upgrades, stadiums are increasingly offering a stream of services and amenities that encourage visitors to come often, come early, and stay late, with pleasant all-day opportunities for recreation and pleasure.

A greater variety of ‘wining and dining’ possibilities are part of that. That might mean upscale gourmet dining, or simply an improvement on an old favorite. The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London can dispense 10,000 pints of beer per minute, using a special method that fills cups from the bottom up!

Additional attractions are also being built into stadium structures. For instance, the Allianz Arena in Munich houses a popular family museum dedicated to the legacy of the local team. The goal is to make stadiums an attractive destination not only on game day but all week long. In Munich, quality of life has always been important!

Using the best of architectural design
With the visitor in mind, stadium architects are also emphasizing interior design. One objective is better spectator viewing – interior obstructions have virtually disappeared just as big multi-screens have proliferated. The AT&T Stadium near Dallas boasts the world’s largest column-free room.

With 50,000-100,000 people inside, safety and security are also getting better by design. This is particularly important at major global sporting events, such as the international soccer championship at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha or the rugby games at Twickenham Stadium in London.

Sustainability is becoming more important, as well. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is North America’s first LEED-Platinum-certified sports stadium, incorporating a rainwater collection system, solar panels, green spaces, and good links to public transportation.

Integrating the stadium into urban planning
Stadium construction and renovation are also becoming better integrated into the bigger picture of urban development. Architects are using the outward appearance of stadiums to blend in, enhance, and connect with the surrounding neighborhood and the rest of the city.

Architects and urban planners are also specifically designing
Ema Peter
The Xiqu Cultural Center, located in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district, was developed as a regional hub for traditional Chinese opera. The project, designed by Vancouver and Hong Kong–based architecture firm Revery Architecture, was inspired by the diaphanous theater curtains. About 13,000 curved aluminum fins, arranged as a series of waves, clad all of the structure’s elevations.

The project rises as a box-like volume enclosing a multi-story entrance atrium and performance spaces. The flowing character of the facade, paired with subtle openings at each corner, produces a dynamic enclosure that floods the interior with natural light. Costing over $300 million, the project is the first of dozens of cultural centers planned for the area surrounding the newly opened West Kowloon railway station.

Every panel is of a similar dimension, approximately 8-feet wide and 20-feet tall, and is composed of CNC-cut marine-grade aluminum. Because of the marine-grade aluminum, the facade is capable of withstanding the intensely humid environment of Hong Kong, which naturally corrodes weaker aluminum products.

Venelin Kokalov, principal-in-charge of Revery Architecture, said the goal of projecting a natural appearance was crucial to the design team. “The original design was based on copper, which proved to be too expensive. This propelled the search for ways to use a more common material like aluminum and a means to bring out its natural qualities.” To this point, the aluminum was glass-bead blasted rather than painted or glazed with a coating.

The facade’s fins are structurally glazed to a steel-reinforced aluminum frame and are further supported by intermittent welded studs. The aluminum frame is, in turn, hung off the primary structure with three-way adjustable unitized curtain wall brackets.

Working with facade consultant Front Inc. and manufacturer SINGYES/MRW, the design team developed a parametric model to ensure the utmost cost-effective design, fabrication, and installation methods for the facade. The aluminum half-pipes are essentially cut in two to create two identical pieces, each installed with their flat ends facing each other.

Following the fabrication and bead-blasting of the fins, Revery constructed a full-scale mock-up of a facade section for review. “It was only after viewing the full-scale mock-up that we, together with the client, were convinced that this was the right material, and the stainless steel brackets were further modified to reduce the scale of the bracket,” continued Kokalov. “We were pleasantly surprised at how much the fins’ appearance varies in different light conditions, seeming to change from grey to pink to gold depending on the ambient light.”
Countless athletes contemplate the Olympics in the context of their future—architects, however, not so much. Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder and senior partner of Denmark-based architecture firm 3XN was one of the few to win a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Nielsen led his team of talented designers and architects to create the new headquarters of the IOC, called Olympic House.

Out of 118 firms, his was selected to redesign the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. After nearly three years of construction, the project is nearing its completion. IOC President Thomas Bach worked closely with Nielsen's team to lead the project's design direction. Two of the most poignant concepts President Bach wanted the design to articulate were sustainability and transparency. Nielsen and his team certainly delivered; the build is LEED platinum-certified, and has reused 90 percent of the concrete from the previous headquarters that was demolished to make way for the new build.

Like its predecessor, the headquarters is located in Lausanne's Louis Bourget public Park. The headquarters is an open campus, and the public is able to walk right up to the building's exterior. Fully transparent window treatments allow in ample light and views of the surrounding park, and create a connection between the public and the committee's work inside the building itself.

One of the standout design features of the build is the circular staircase that connects each floor of the five-story building. It's a stunning homage to Pierre de Coubertin’s iconic Olympic Rings, and at present is almost entirely completed.

The building will house the 206 Olympic committees—more than even the United Nations has, according to President Bach—and will open with a ceremony on June 23, 2019.
Peter Walker Partners Landscape
The addition is set to open this spring.

With features like an indoor forest, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, treetop walking trails, retail (a retail galleria will feature more than 280 retail and food and beverage outlets and a 130-room hotel), and gathering spaces, the 1.4 million-sf Jewel Changi Airport addition will create a new model for airports as a destination for community activity, entertainment, and shopping.

The core of Jewel is the Forest Valley, a terraced indoor landscape that will feature walking trails and seating areas among more than 200 species of plants. The Forest Valley will also feature the world’s tallest indoor rain-fed waterfall, dubbed The Rain Vortex. The Rain Vortex will shower water down seven stories from a central open oculus in the domed roof. The waterfall will have nightly light shows that integrate sound and projections from 360 degrees around the Vortex.

The steel and glass structure of the roof spans more than 650 feet at its widest point and uses only intermittent supports in the garden, which results in a nearly column-free interior. The roof’s geometry is based on a semi-inverted toroid (think of a donut) with the waterfall at its center.

Canopy Park will be located on the fifth level and include 150,000 sf of attractions within the garden spaces, such as net structures suspended within the trees, a suspended catenary glass-bottomed bridge walk, a planted hedge maze, a topiary walk, horticultural displays, and an event plaza for 1,000 people.

The Jewel is slated to open in spring 2019. Safdie Architects designed the project. BuroHappold Engineering handled the building structure and facades and Mott MacDonald handled MEP duties.
Brett Beyer
Aaron Betsky visits the Shed, designed with the Rockwell Group serving as collaborating architect and now under construction at New York City’s Hudson Yards, and finds one of the best architectural “moves” he’s seen in a while.

It is always dangerous to write about a building under construction, but then again, seeing a structure far enough along that all the spaces are defined and the structure’s place in the whole experience is clear, without finding yourself distracted by the content, can give you a sense of the architects’ intention. Of course, by that very toke you are then defining the structure as a monument that has a life and a meaning beyond its function. Though that is an issue for a house or even an office building (and leads to architects desperately trying to photograph their buildings before the owners move in and “mess things up”), for a structure such as the Shed, New York City’s latest cultural palace, the perspective also seems appropriate.

The Shed represents one of the biggest and most extreme examples of a “move”—as in the first architecture lesson I ever learned: “get in, make your move, get out fast”—that I have seen in recent years. It is intended to be the ultimate multipurpose building with over 90,000 square feet of open-span exhibition, performance, and event spaces that can expand by another 17,000 square feet when the shed of its name (which is officially called the McCourt) wheels out over an adjacent plaza. When I first watched as its designers, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (with New York–based collaborating architect Rockwell Group), presented the idea in their office, I filed it away in the “utopian designs, never realized” folder in my mind. Then Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, AIA, lectured at the School of Architecture at Taliesin and showed the giant wheels, each as big as a truck, being forged at an Italian factory, and I realized that the Shed was becoming a reality. Now, it is just about built, with the wheels ready to ride on their tracks by the time of the opening on April 5.

The “move” in this case is a literal one: The cowl of inflated ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) panels nests on top of a four-story stack of exhibition, performance, and event floors, the first three of which sport a 12,500-square-foot clear-span space. When Kanye West or the Bolshoi come to town, or when New York Fashion Week unfolds (which the Shed thinks will be their real moneymaker), the cowl takes a 5-minute journey along the tracks and covers the adjacent place, creating a fully enclosed, lit and conditioned, not to mention grand, space with a flexible floor plate and a 110-foot ceiling height.

The shed structure is now sitting over the plaza, while workers finish the lighting and the floors, not to mention all the other details that will make it work. And it is spectacular. The combination of the lacey steel structure and the translucent panels summon the image of a Gothic cathedral that has become abstracted and stretched into a thin membrane. They leave not a nave, but a modernist cube of a giant scale to house the worshipers of whatever modern culture the organizers choose to throw at the New York scene. The diagonal panes and struts, not to mention those supersized wheels, have a kinetic beauty even when they are fully stationary.

That is really all there is to the Shed. The main entrance, on a lower floor underneath the High Line (which DS+R also co-designed), is a serviceable space whose one trick is a skylight that gives you a view of that reused train track’s bottom. The escalators that take you up into the spaces above are designed as cleanly and with as much reserve as the architects could muster. My only fear is of a repeat of DS+R’s experience at the Broad museum in Los Angeles, where dreadfully proportioned and positioned walls leached all the grandeur out of the top-floor gallery—a gallery that was meant to be the institution’s big payoff.

I also wish that DS+R had managed to find a way to stage the entrances and the unfolding of the spaces with a few more transitions, but I understand the lot was tight and the opportunities
If you dream, dream big. That mantra has helped drive Nancy Seruto and the 4,000 creative personnel in 20 countries that comprise Walt Disney Imagineering. It’s also delivered a big win for Disney in a market where many firms have failed: China.

“The response has been fantastic,” Seruto said of the Shanghai Disney Resort, the 963-acre theme park that has drawn huge crowds since opening two years ago. (Don’t miss Michal Lev-Ram’s 2016 Fortune story about the making of its Tomorrowland.) Ten years in the making, the Shanghai park has also been an important learning experience for Disney, she said, and it will inform the Imagineering team as the company contemplates building more attractions in China.

“Nothing we have ever done before has been as adventurous in scale and in invention,’’ said Seruto, who serves as executive producer of Walt Disney Imagineering. She spoke at Fortune’s Brainstorm Design conference in Singapore earlier this month.

The Imagineers did face some cultural challenges. Disney asked Chinese artisans to recreate from photos a 19th century Caribbean island town for its Treasure Cove attraction. But the locals were reluctant at first to construct buildings that looked old, crooked, and downright strange to their sensibilities.

Shanghai Disney Resort is also the first theme park that Disney localized. Seruto said that they decided to work in Mandarin from the start, and learning how to tell Disney’s stories in ways that are distinctly Chinese was a “magnificent journey.”

“There is something to the strength of the storytelling that gives Disney international appeal,” Seruto said. “The stories resonate with families, and contain universal elements that have been built over decades. From that strength you can modify them and still have your core brand.”

Some companies dream of succeeding in China; Disney has done it. Imagine that.
PCL Construction
The Xanadu project, launched in 2003 to add a major retail center to the New Jersey Meadowlands, was never envisioned as a garden variety mall. But New Jerseyans and visitors driving the N.J. Turnpike got a sense of what it wasn’t supposed to be in what it had become—an odd multicolored warehouse-like structure that stayed unfinished for a number of years and prompted a distinction then as the state’s leading eyesore.

But with new white aluminum cladding, a major redesign, a new name, three developers—and more than $5 billion and 15 years later—the American Dream has arrived.

Now an expanded retail-entertainment complex set to open in stages this year, it includes three indoor theme parks, 450 tenants and a dozen other attractions—far eclipsing the original concept, and with few peers, if any, in the changing U.S. retail real estate market.

And it’s all atop marshland that almost swallowed a Bobcat excavator.

The 5-million-sq-ft project is borrowing from developer Triple Five Worldwide’s own playbook for its mega-retail Mall of America complex in Minneapolis, where 20% of the property features entertainment attractions. The project could include a $250-million plan to build what would be North America’s largest indoor waterpark if it wins over opponents.

American Dream is amplifying the tilt to entertainment, says Tony Armlin, vice president of development at Edmonton, Alberta-based Triple Five, which took over the project in late 2010. “We positioned this so that 55% of our project is dedicated to amusement and attractions and dining experiences and 45% is focused on traditional retail experience,” he says.

A primary challenge has been to fuse varied elements cohesively, says Debbie Kalisky, associate of retail development at GH+A Design Studios, retail design architect on the project. “This is a new model, a multi-dimensional, multifaceted family destination,” she says. “That was the high-level vision, taking the bones [of a retail center] and reimagining it.”

A big part of the design was treating the existing abandoned structures—built by the first developer, Mills Corp., before it exited in a 2007 bankruptcy, and then by Colony Capital, which left in 2009—as a giant shell and essentially starting over, Armlin says. “We have completely revisioned, repositioned and redesigned what was here,” he says. “The only things that we maintained [were] in essence the [superstructure] and its envelope and some of the mechanical and electrical systems. The entire interiors were demolished and the whole exterior renovated.”

The $700 million in rehab work on those structures included substantial changes, says Wayne Melnyk, vice president of major projects leading the American Dream effort for PCL Construction Enterprises, the construction manager. “We’ve added skylights, we’ve closed areas where they had open courts, and in other places we’ve created open spaces or bump-outs in the building,” he says.

But the construction effort also has entailed building two new eight-acre indoor theme parks, more retail space and a host of added attractions. In the end, American Dream will open with 3 million leasable sq ft of retail and entertainment space and 11,000 designated parking spaces.

As Triple Five invested $3 billion into the project, on top of $2 billion in work from the prior developers, it has deployed an army of partners, consultants and staff, Armlin says.

“Obviously those are big numbers, so we had to assemble and create team management structures that would effectively execute renovation design, new design and enormous amounts of consultant coordination,” he says.