REVEALED: Bjarke Ingels' first NFL stadium will be surrounded by a moat for surfing

by Kim Megson | 14 Mar 2016

After months of speculation, National Football League (NFL) franchise the Washington Redskins has finally confirmed architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design its new home, and unveiled the first details of the project.

Described by the Redskins as “a new stadium concept”, BIG’s creation – a transparent wave-like structure wrapped in a golden metal mesh – is designed with a particular focus on how it will be used on non-match days throughout the year for cultural events.

The ground will be surrounded by a moat for kayakers, which is crossed by bridges linking the stadium with surrounding parks, training pitches and green space.

Newly-released renderings show bathers relaxing on a strip of man-made beach, rollerskaters circling the concourse and abseilers descending the stadium. They also suggest the moat could double as a wave pool for surfers and a large-scale ice rink in winter.

Other leisure facilities teased by BIG include a Redskins museum and space for 'tailgating' – which allows sports fans can serve informal meals from the back of their vehicles in the car park.

“The one thing that everybody is excited about is the idea that the stadium is designed as much for pre-game events as the game itself,” said Bjarke Ingels, in an interview with CBS. “Tailgating literally becomes a picnic in the park.

“We have found a way to make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game.”

Further details about the design have yet to be released.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder wants to relocate the franchise from its current 82,000-capacity ground at FedEx Field in the state of Maryland – which it has occupied since 1997 – and build a new stadium elsewhere in the region. No location has yet been selected.

According to media reports in the US, government officials in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have tabled site proposals for the new stadium, but the team may have to change its controversial name and logo – considered by some to be offensive to Native American groups – before any move will get the green light.

BIG have experience working on high-profile projects in Washington D.C, having designed the masterplan for a US$2bn (€1.8bn, £1.4bn) re-imagining of the city's Smithsonian Institution.

In the 60 Minutes interview, Ingels said he was determined to disrupt expectations of what modern architecture should be. “When I started studying architecture, people would say, ‘Can you tell me why are all modern buildings so boring?’", he said. “People had this idea that in the good old days architecture had ornaments and little towers and spires and gargoyles, and today, it has just become very practical.”

Bjarke Ingels  BIG  NFL  Washington Redskins  Washington  D.C.  stadium design  architecture  American football 
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After months of speculation, National Football League (NFL) franchise the Washington Redskins has finally confirmed architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design its new home, and unveiled the first details of the project. Described by the Redskins as “a new stadium concept”, BIG’s creation – a transparent wave-like structure wrapped in a golden metal mesh – is designed with a particular focus on how it will be used on non-match
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A newly-released rendering shows bathers relaxing on a strip of man-made beach, rollerskaters circling the concourse, abseilers descending the stadium and a surfer catching a large wave in the moat / BIG and Michael Fairmont
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