The people behind the new Washington Nationals stadium currently rising from the frozen floor of Southeast D.C. seem to have found some interesting ways to spend their $611 million, as detailed in today’s Washington Post. Yes, no one in their clubhouse has ever won more than 9 games in a Big League season. But what a unique clubhouse it will be!
(W)hen the Nationals settle into their new locker room next year, they won’t find any corners.
“We decided we’d make it circular,” said (architect Marshall) Purnell, to help discourage cliques and hierarchies among the mega-rich stars and lesser-paid journeymen and younger players who typically compose a big league team. “Then we decided on an oval,” he said, because “the oval has to do with the city. You have the Ellipse, you have the Oval Office.
“It’s a Washington thing,” he said. And it’s an all-for-one, one-for-all thing: “If you have a circular table,” he noted, “then there is no head of the table.”
The inspiration for the locker room’s design innovation: Barry Bonds’ easy chair-equipped corner office in the Giants clubhouse, which jumped out to the architects as, for lack of a better term, flagrantly fucked-up when they visited SBC/AT&T Park.
More interestingly, via Stephen Del Percio’s GreenBuildingsNYC blog you’ll learn that the architects of this stadium and the D.C. Sports Council (Devrouax and Purnell, working with the ballpark big shots at HOK, who designed basically every stadium built since 1990) are pursuing LEED certification. LEED is a standard set by the United States Green Building Council, and most often applied to office buildings and smaller-scale projects. What this means is that this stadium, which does not yet have a corporate name sponsor, will be the first certified sustainable stadium in sports: it will produce less waste, mesh more intensely with local mass transit and, for once, not guzzle energy. So ExxonMobil is probably out on that whole naming rights thing.
œIt will go a long way towards the protection of unwanted runoff into the Anacostia River, Robinson says.
The Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota are both pursuing LEED certification on new stadium projects. Steve also raises another interesting point: HOK has been contracted to design the new Yankees Stadium. Will they go for a green stadium in the Bronx? And, perhaps less importantly, will George Steinbrenner blame Joe Torre or Brian Cashman if they do? If they don’t? Will he even notice?