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HOK Sport to Design Washington, D.C. Baseball Stadium

HOK Sport of Kansas City has been chosen to design a baseball stadium for the Washington, D.C. Nationals, successor to the Senators who decamped to Texas in 1971. Last February, a six-member selection committee narrowed the field to six architects (HOK Sport; Rafael Vinoly Architects; SOM; Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects; Harwood K. Smith Architects; HNTB Architects; EwingCole; and David M. Schwarz Architects). In late February they shortlisted HOK, SOM, and Harwood K. Smith, and on March 31 chose HOK Sport, which submitted the lowest bid, according to city sources.


“We do not want just another baseball stadium. We want signature architecture,” Allen Y. Lew, CEO of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, told the Washington Post in February. But the selection process didn’t require specific designs. The choice “was made on the basis of expertise. This was not a design competition,” says HOK Sport design principal Joe Spear, AIA. His firm has designed 10 of the last 14 Major League Baseball stadiums, and the selection process was driven primarily by Major League Baseball’s desire to ensure that a well-functioning $279 million stadium opens on schedule in 2008. Spear says he has “no specific design ideas yet but will make a patient investigation in collaboration with local architects Devereaux & Purnell, the sports commission, and city officials to find the best solutions.” He says the commission “wants something different from everything we’ve done. They think the stadium should be an icon, a source of pride for the city and the community.”

Andrea Dean