SBD/January 6, 2016/Facilities

Redskins Teaming With Danish Firm On New Stadium, But Location Remains A Mystery

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Ingels hinted to his ties with Redskins in an Instagram posting in November
Bjarke Ingels Group, the architect for Google’s new Bay Area campus and Two World Trade Center in N.Y., is teaming with the Redskins to design a new NFL stadium, according to sources. The firm, named for its 41-year-old Danish founder, has offices in N.Y. and Copenhagen. It has never designed an NFL facility, but sources say it is on the short list to redesign FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium. Daria Pahhota, head of communications for the firm, confirmed that it is working on an NFL stadium but said officials were not ready to identify the client. Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie did not return an email. Reports surfaced over the weekend that the Redskins would announce plans for a new stadium sometime this month. The team plays at 80,000-seat FedExField, which is owned by Dan Snyder and opened in '97 in Maryland. The Redskins have considered moving back to DC as well as potentially relocating to Virginia, but to this point have kept that information under wraps. Bjarke Ingels himself provided a hint of his ties to the Redskins on social media. About two months ago, he posted an image of Redskins-branded M&Ms on Instagram with the caption “M&M NFL style.” The post caught the attention of some sports architects. Those familiar with Bjarke Ingels Group’s work say the company thinks innovatively in developing civic buildings. The same can be said for the Redskins, considering the firm’s lack of sports work. Sources said the team would most likely pair Bjarke Ingels Group with another firm experienced in designing NFL stadiums to complete the technical aspects of sports facility design such as seating bowl, sightlines and technology integration. “BIG is one of the up-and-coming international design firms and have established a track record for tremendous creativity in their work,” said one sports designer. “They are a high-caliber firm that will surely design something unique and different.” Ingels was not available for comment.

CHANGING THE PARADIGM: During the company's 10th anniversary celebration in N.Y. this past November, Ingels told Women's Wear Daily that the unnamed NFL project will boost the fan experience. "It could represent a paradigm change in stadium design whereas at some point it was only about being better, or just bigger," he said. "Now, there is a whole set of aspects … the thing we've emphasized is the entire experience and the intimacy of the whole experience to make the live feeling and the communal feeling as massive as possible."
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