The architectural firm that designed Nationals Park in Washington, DC, also will create a new soccer stadium for D.C. United.
The team has signed Kansas-based Populous to design the arena, which Joe Spear, one of the firm’s senior principals, said will be both intimate and “intimidating for the opposing teams,” according to The Washington Post.
D.C. United’s home in the meantime is the 54-year-old Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, which was built as a multi-purpose arena for Washington’s football, baseball and soccer teams. The venue has long been considered by sports fans to be too large to get them close enough to the action of the games.
The team’s choice of an architectural firm whose work they know well — it also designed Camden Yards in nearby Baltimore when it was known as HOK Sport — was no surprise, given that Populous also created promotional drawings for D.C. United when they were pitching the new stadium a year ago. See the latest architectural renderings of the new arena here.
But not everyone is fan of the firm’s past work.
A Washington Post architecture critic in 2008 complained that the then-new, 42,000-seat Nationals Park was “purely functional,” with concession stands that block “what might have been a wonderful view of the Anacostia River.”
The designers, however, told The Post the soccer stadium will be different, as it will transform the surrounding Buzzard Point neighborhood in Southwest Washington. It has not been determined whether nearby restaurants, shops and a proposed hotel would be constructed along with the stadium or at a later date, The Post reported.