MORE TRENDS TO CONSIDER
Durability: âHomeowners recognize the importance of investing in sustainable facilities,â said Rossetti’s Taylor. âAs design leaders, our role is to prioritize sustainable strategies and their associated investments. “
He said his company’s approach to sustainability takes many forms, ranging from a natural ventilation system that eliminates the need for air conditioning at the Louis Armstrong Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, to the reuse of old aluminum benches at Phoenix Raceway as part of the building facade.
And while we are supporting the earth, why not supporting the people too? Generator Studio’s Proebstle said a client at a head office asked what could be done to do better for people and the planet beyond their project’s LEED certification.
He said Generator recommends WELL Building certification “which puts holistic human mental and physical health at the forefront in building design.”
âFocusing on direct improvements in access to natural light, air filtration, nutrition and mental health, among other fundamental WELL principles, has a direct impact on staff and athletes. âSaid Proebstle.
Christina Franklin, the company’s interior design director, spoke of an increased connection to greenery and wellness. âAccess to the outdoors and fresh air has become a major concern for fans and athletes,â she said. âCustomers at all levels are looking to understand how these changes can be accommodated, especially with renovations to places where, at first glance, access to the outdoors may seem limited or impractical. “
Without contact : COVID-19 has put the adaptation of contactless technologies into high gear. âCustomers try to design spaces and paths where viewers don’t have to touch anything when doing transactions at the box office, concession stand, merchandise store, etc.â, said Cornoni of CannonDesign.
According to Joyner of Perkins & Will: âTake-out food offerings, automated ordering and mobile ordering apps have reduced the hassle of food and drink shopping and in some cases increased sales. Our customers are looking for solutions that not only mitigate the effects of COVID-19, but also improve the spectator experience. “
âThe trend of contactless dealerships has generated a lot of interest from our clients,â said Frisina of SCI Architects. âThe ability to alleviate the stress of queuing at dealerships, minimize touchpoints for fans and bring fans back to their place is a powerful argument for the success of these outlets. “
However, not all changes made by COVID will go into the permanent facility design manual.
âMany ideas and technologies that were starting to be incorporated into the design of sites have been accelerated due to a response to COVID. Contactless and cashless environments and mobile controls are great for fan health and safety, but are also much more convenient, âGensler’s Emmett said. But he added, “As we see fans coming back to most of the sites, the overall impact of COVID on the design and operation of the sites, and the fan experience, has been far less impactful than initially expected.”
Mixed-use developments: It may be about providing more ways for people to come together, but the idea of ââintegrating restaurants, hotels, residential spaces and offices around the premises is not running out of steam.
âMany stadiums also serve as anchor points for larger developments,â said Barnum of the DLR Group. âCustomers look to the DLR Group for its design expertise beyond sports venues when looking to blur the lines between living, working and playing. The DLR Group’s sports design teams regularly hire designers in hospitality and mixed-use venues to bring these neighborhood development concepts to life.
Riverfront Stadium, a new stadium in Wichita, Kansas that the firm designed, is part of such a development.
Authenticity: The idea of ââbringing local restaurants to the stands of arena and stadium concessions is not new. In fact, it was just the tip of the spear of a movement of authenticity in design, the idea that the spirit of the community outside the place should naturally infiltrate it.
âA desire for authenticity becomes a prerequisite for the design of a place,â said Emmett of Gensler. âThere is a demand for the look and feel of a place and for the experiences within the place to reflect the character and culture of the city and its fan base. “
Gaining momentum: âWhen the pandemic started several projects were put on hold, but it resumed in 2021 for sure,â said Cornoni of CannonDesign, echoing the feeling that the architecture of sports and entertainment facilities is returning to its normal rhythm.
âWe’ve seen a lot of clients put the brakes on projects that were just getting started,â Gensler’s Emmett said. “(But) we’ve also found that this is the perfect time for many clients and teams to take a closer look at their sites, operations, and fan experience.”