Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Exhibit A: Seats that tremor with every bone-jarring, concussion-inducing hit the players experience in real life.
Will the Atlanta Falcons' next stadium be one of the most important structures in the history of mankind? Its architects seem to think so.
Design firm 360 Architecture went all out in presenting its "Pantheon" and "Solarium" concepts in PDF form, arguing that the right kind of new stadium could lure back NFL fans who prefer to watch the game on television, further entice luxury consumers, and create a venue good enough not only for a Super Bowl, but FIFA matches and NCAA Final Fours as well.
Replacing the Georgia Dome, once the largest domed stadium in the world (and the biggest state-funded construction project in Georgia history), will cost approximately $1 billion dollars. Around $200 million of that money will come from Atlanta and Fulton County hotel taxes.
An image of an active Roman Coliseum appears early on, with the firm's "Pantheon" concept juxtaposed against the actual Pantheon a few slides later (above).
The above slide suggests that we're at the crossroads of retractable roof (and really stadium) history, presented with the option of "responsible design" or "marginal improvements," the latter resulting in obsolescence.
360 shows how the Falcons will avoid said obsolescence, with a string of ideas meant to keep ticket revenues strong as the NFL becomes increasingly cheaper, and arguably better, to experience on screen (as depicted by a man in his Houston Texans "Man Cave"):
The Fantasy Football Lounge apparently includes a New York Stock Exchange replica to be populated with day traders and New York Jets fans.
Not to be forgotten, Impact Seating will allow fans to enjoy seats that delightfully tremor with every bone-jarring, concussion-inducing hit the players experience in real life.
Inspired by the wings of the Falcons' logo, it seems as if 360 is pushing its dramatic and angular "Pantheon" concept harder than its far more conservative "Solarium," a structure that resembles a glass-enclosed Lucas Oil Stadium. Whichever concept gets picked, opening day is targeted for sometime in 2017, early enough to get the craziest NFL stadium ever ready for Super Bowl L.