By Nick Bosman
Lately, I have been getting more and more into my thesis project which is a new baseball stadium for Montreal. At first, I was so overwhelmed by how much I did not know about stadium design. As time went on, I did some research, read some books, and I am starting to understand it.
First of all, my initial problem with starting this project, before even thinking about how it will look, was getting a good program. The book I read gave hints to the sorts of rooms needed but not nearly enough information to create an entire program for a baseball stadium for the MLB. What I did was call multiple firms to try to get an idea of a program for a stadium. Not a lot of people got back to me. A lot of them said that they have designed stadiums, but are not allowed to share any of the information because the client owns the work now. I finally got a hold of one person that was able to help. He gave me a great PDF of certain program specifics but still had very vague parts.
After getting a better idea of the program, I finally got to start thinking about the design. My first plan of action is to figure out a typical section. While figuring that out, also I would be getting the sight lines correct using the formula given in the book that I have read. The sight lines caused a lot of problems. I created an Excel spreadsheet with the formula in it to determine the riser heights. Long story short, it did not work out at first, but I eventually got it. There are multiple stipulations on things like the angle of the seating area, special requirements for wheelchairs, etc.
At this point, I have a pretty good idea of what the section will look like. Once I get that finalized, I will lay them out on the site around the correctly sized baseball field. This is the part where it feels like the design is happening by itself, although it really is not. Things start forming, ideas start generating from certain situations created by designing the way I did. It will be interesting to see what unfolds as I continue exploring ideas.
What I am about to work on now is thinking of ideas as to how I could incorporate a retractable roof in with the design. That will be a difficult task, but I will figure it out.