The Newport Gulls baseball team has decided to build a new home field staduim in their town of Newport Rhode Island. In spite of their prescriptive configurations stadiums offer extraordinary opportunities for urban, formal, structural and programmatic experimentation. They defy many of the conventional ways of understanding space, building and ground, sequence of movement and the relation between inside and outside. And, in their tight connection between built form and event, stadiums open up remarkable avenues to explore the connections between culture and building.
Using a site currently functioning as a “water walk” the new baseball staduim becomes a new attraction of Newport’s oceanside serving as both a baseball field on the water’s edge as well as a public walk outside the staduim offering views into the playing field. Sunken halfway into the earth the stadium celebrates the connection between the town and the water’s edge.
Starting from a single point at the water’s edge a syntax is developed by lines radiating outwards and giving organization to the spaces of the stadium. The structure incorporates itself into the design by using the center as a vanishing point thus creating the circular form. This circular form creates a simple flow of circulation through and around the stadium while continuously revealing views of the field and the bay to those fans both inside and outside the walls.
Circulation through the stadium exists at ground level underneath the bleachers, however the consession stands exist outside the stadium walls and are accessed through underwater tunnels which bring visitors up and out to a separate dock. This addresses the typical underground feeling fans get while waiting in consession lines and moves the space out into the open air.
Status: School Project
Location: Newport, RI, US