I’d like to introduce an emerging paradigm in how we understand project costs. It’s the green paradigm – not the one only associated with dollar bills, but the one associated with environmental stewardship as well. And with eco-consciousness. And community-wide benefits. But…
CHALLENGE. The Miami Marlins used the opportunity of a new ballpark to recreate their brand – and they turned to Populous to design a stadium at the heart of the transformation. Turning to the colorful and vibrant culture of the community, Populous dreamed of a place where beauty and baseball collide. In order to create an artful new home for the team, Populous had to replace the legacy of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana, adjacent to downtown Miami, with Major League Baseball’s most modern ballpark expression to date.
INNOVATION. The building itself is conceived as an abstraction of water merging with land, symbolic of the city’s coastal landscape. It is a bold vision portrayed through architecture as a modern, kinetic sculpture of faceted metal and glass. The retracting glass outfield wall frames beautiful views of the downtown skyline. The ballpark’s base creates a backdrop for urban life with arcades and colorful mosaics reflecting the diverse culture of Miami.
The 37,000-seat facility features a retractable roof to shield spectators from the sun and rain. The flexibility of having a retractable roof – one that takes only 13 minutes to fully open or close – allows 100 percent assurance that an event will take place regardless of weather. When fully open, the roof is parked completely outside the ballpark, creating an expansive plaza area designed for use well beyond game day.
IMPACT. The ballpark’s urban plan has framed a fundamental change in the character of the old Orange Bowl precinct, recreating the neighborhood street network and reconnecting Little Havana to Northwest 7th Street and Northwest 17th Avenue. Within this framework of public streets, the ballpark, future development and parking garages are presented as urban buildings on city blocks, creating an urban center. The ballpark will provide retail at its base to integrate with the proposed, adjacent retail development, intentionally creating a street edge that connects to the surrounding neighborhood.
Not only is the retractable roof innovative, but the ability to adapt to unpredictable weather conditions will inherently change the perception of and impact summertime baseball in Florida for generations to come.
This ballpark is a civic sculpture with a strong connection to one place, one neighborhood, one city and one state.