Falcons Get GWCCA Approval For "Pantheon" Stadium Design Concept
The Falcons and a stadium committee of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority gave 360 Architecture the "go ahead to focus its efforts on a concept dubbed 'Pantheon'” for the team's new downtown stadium, according to a front-page piece by Leon Stafford of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. In addition to the "angular profile and retractable roof, it includes a wall of glass that looks toward the downtown skyline and a video board that encircles the roof opening." The concept selection is the "latest step in bringing the new field, slated to open in 2017, to life." The new building, at 1.8 million square feet, will be "larger than the 1.6 million-square-foot Georgia Dome." Seating will be "about the same at 70,000-plus." The Falcons last week selected Holder Construction Group as the project's general contractor. The concept, "called 'Pantheon' -- the name of a Roman temple with an opening in its domed roof -- was one of two considered." The other, called “Solarium,” included a "larger roof opening and more glass but lacked upper-level end-zone seats" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/18). 360 Senior Principal Bill Johnson said that he "wanted the stadium placed" on the south site adjacent to the Georgia Dome to "create a 'window on the world' with a view of Atlanta for people inside the stadium so everyone could see the skyline." In Atlanta, Saporta & Wenk noted the roof will "still open with sections along tracks, even though the sections might now be bigger to accommodate a larger opening." But Johnson said that the building will "have the flexibility to be as open or closed as desired." The area around the stadium will be "designed like a promenade." Once the Georgia Dome is demolished, that space will be "turned into an outdoor lawn of grass that will be used for tailgating during game days but as a common space for outdoor events on other days" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/17).
APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY: WSB-ABC's Dave Huddleston reported the stadium design concept was "approved unanimously without discussion by the six-person Stadium Development Committee." In addition to the retractable roof, the stadium would include 180 luxury boxes and 7,500 club-level seats, more of both than at the Georgia Dome. All of the designs were from the southside location, but Georgia World Congress Center Chair Frank Poe said the design could be altered if the location changed. Poe: "It's a design that can work really in either location, so we're very excited about the design that we've seen." Poe added that the "petition drive to force the city to have voters' input" on spending $200M of public money on the project "hasn't slowed down their progress so far and doesn't anticipate that it will" (WSB-ABC, 6/18).