Falcons stadium concepts blow everything else away

And it’s not even close. 360 Architecture released two visions for the stadium that will eventually replace the still-young Georgia Dome. As Jason Kirk wrote in SB Nation, the whole thing is insane. Two concepts are being considered. The first is a fairly common stadium design called the Solarium. The catch is that instead of have the roof move on tracks to open a small sunroof, the roof and exterior walls are on hinges (with supporting tracks on the ends) that pull back to open a much larger area to the elements. The stadium also has a trick seating bowl where some of the corner sections collapse, allowing the end zones to be pulled in for a “tighter” basketball bowl.

The second concept, named Pantheon, is much bolder in terms of design, with numerous triangles that, when put together, resemble a very ominous spaceship. Key to the mindblowing nature of what 360’s done is that the roof opens like an iris. It’s beautiful to watch and at the same time very scary. Who’s coming in through the open iris, God or our new alien overlords (who I, for one, welcome)?

Either roof design presents some new practical challenges. Can the hinged roof reliably provide a weatherproof seal? That might be tough. And the iris design is completely new, novel, and unproven. It’s composed of eight separate triangular roof elements that overlap and appear to have their own motors and tracks. That’s an engineering challenge to put it lightly. 360 explains that this roof has smaller, lighter elements that move shorter distances, which should in theory make it cheaper to build and operate. Who knows, maybe it’ll work well? Then again, maybe it’ll work like the The Big Owe or the initially problem-plagued system at Miller Park.

Other innovations are being considered, such as movable walls that can allow suites to be resized on demand, and a club concept called “The 100 Yard Bar” with a display (and bar) that runs the full length of the field. (Check out the Georgia World Congress Center’s site devoted to stadium development for presentations by the GWCC and 360.)

No, this doesn’t change my mind that the Georgia Dome doesn’t need to be replaced. It’s still a perfectly good football and basketball venue. Of course, if either the Solarium or Pantheon get built, I’ll definitely hop on a Delta flight to Atlanta to bathe in the new ambience.

27 thoughts on “Falcons stadium concepts blow everything else away

  1. I took a tour of the brand new Georgia Dome around 1994. 19 years later it needs to be replaced?

  2. Which will happen first? The Falcons get a replacement for their 21-year-old football-only stadium in Atlanta or the Raiders get a replacement for their 47-year-old, obsolete multipurpose stadium in Oakland?

  3. What a horrific waste of money. When archeologists dig this up, will they laugh or cry?

  4. necessity aside, those are two of the coolest concepts I have seen. Wow.

  5. Thank you Zonis. Aperture.

  6. This is to use up the G4 fund so Oakland is S.O.L again…

  7. I think the technology exists now to build a football stadium that can collapse 20,000 seats and become a baseball park without looking like Veteran, Three River, cookie cutter stadiums.

  8. @Brian – You’re assuming there is a cataclysmic event within the next 20 years, when we all know it’ll be outdated and torn down in a couple decades. :)

  9. Cool concepts, the first one looks awesome, but I have a feeling they will go with the 2nd one. So ML how many new stadium designs (non-A’s)have you covered since you started this sight?

  10. My only concern about both designs is the practicality of rigging for events in there. Rigging at the Georgia Dome is difficult enough without beams in the ceiling.

  11. I was ready to yawn when I first clicked on the video…”another stadium concept, big deal.” But those concepts are pretty awesome.

    The do have “Money Pit” written all over them though.

  12. This is 360 Architecture? I’d love to see this bold approach to their Cisco Field design.

  13. i thought i remember somebody here saying the roof structure on cisco field in sj would have the potential to maybe show adds on them? looking at this video, i think 360 would have at least the capability to do that WHEN cisco field becomes a reality later this decade.

    as atl need for a new football stadium, yeah after seeing how they fixed up the superdome in new orleans and that place is 20 years newer than the superdome, you wonder if they just couldn’t do the same to the georgia dome for half the price? maybe they could tear down the roof and build a retractable one. don’t know how much that would cost, how long it’d take, or if it’s even feasible to do something like that.

  14. @letsgoas: I don’t know about Cisco Field, but I remember the Earthquakes’ Stadium concept video shows roof projections.

  15. yeah it was the earthquakes stadium that did that but considering how similar the “roofs” look between the two venues and it’s the same design team, i would think cisco field would have the potential to do the same too.

    would be a great way to make money off such a design and most definitely be a feature no other mlb team has with their park.

  16. I like the lean-back walls better than the sliding-triangle lens-cover, but both are pretty impressive.

    Anybody notice that the Cubs are threatening to “move” if they can’t erect a huge new scoreboard above Wrigley’s CF? Takes a 3/4 mlb owner vote to approve any “move,” of any sort, as I read the constitution/master-agreement. What do you think the chances are of that occurring there?

  17. MLB can tell the Cubs where they can’t build, but they can’t tell them where to build.

  18. i think the cubs want to build a video screen behind the lf seats which in the pictures i saw would block off the rooftop seats across the street.

    i know that old time manuel scoreboard is one of the key iconic features of wrigley but that’s probably the best location to put a a new video screen if the cubs do renovate the park.

  19. Finally able to see the stadium concepts via my old ass PC (can’t view on iPad for some reason). WOW!! Speachless would be an understatement. Makes the Niners Stadium and proposed Farmers Field look like the Coliseum (OK, I’m getting carried away). Seriously though, very impressive work by 360 Architecture; glad they’re on our team ;)
    Re the Cubs, I thought the deal for Wrigley was signed, sealed and delivered? They’re not going anywhere.

  20. The only implied threat of a move was from a community right by ORD airport. A move there would be within the Cubs territory and not subject to a vote.

  21. jeffrey, that’s not accurate. The provision in the “constitution” governing a “move” is separate from the provison establishing “territory.” Please, check your authorities.

  22. I think both designs look ridiculous!The actual stadium bowl for the patheon concept or whatever looks fine except for the asanine Roof. We go to watch Football. not all this other nonsense. Ad spaces high above the crowd is a nauseating concept. I do however like the idea of the 100 Yard Bar,that I would like to see.

  23. xoot, it’s absolutely true.

  24. Ben Maller ‏@benmaller
    Charlotte’s politicians are giving $87.5 million of taxpayers money to renovate 17-year-old privately-owned Carolina Panthers stadium.

    wasn’t the panthers stadium built which opened in 95 the first of the new “breed” stadiums during the early stages of the building boom for nfl venues.

  25. xoot, I reached out to some folks. You are incorrect. A move by MLB is defined as leaving the existing territory. Teams are free to move within their territory without any vote by MLB owners, and several have. The Marlins, the Twins, the Nationals are examples. Should the Cubs wish to move within their existing territory, there is no vote required by the other owners.

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