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New 'Light and Airy' Design for Farmers Field Unveiled

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 03:53PM
Farmers Field Updated Design Gensler / ICON Venue Group / AEG

A new night rendering shows the sweeping, transparent roof overhangs planned for Farmers Field, the NFL stadium and events center that AEG hopes to build next to Staples Center and L.A. Live.



The companies charged with designing and building Farmers Field presented an ambitious new concept for the proposed NFL stadium and event center on Tuesday, building off of early renderings to create a "light and airy" structure that they described as having "flight-like" qualities.

It has been 11 months since the first glimpses of AEG's proposed stadium were unveiled as part of a design competition. While architecture firm Gensler's early design was given Farmers Field branding when the structure's naming rights deal was announced, Tuesday's unveiling marked the firm's first public work since getting formally commissioned in March.

The biggest change is to the structure's proposed roof, which has gone from "retractable" to "deployable." Gensler and building management firm Icon Venue Group are exploring temporary roofs that could be lifted into place when needed, but disassembled and stored at all other times.

The roof at Farmers Field "doesn't need to open and close within minutes," noted lead architect Ron Turner of Gensler. He said that the team is "extremely intrigued" by the concept of a roof that would be created out of inflated air chambers.

Losing a built-in roof allows the venue to be much lighter, explained ICON CEO Tim Romani, who called Gensler's origin vision "top-heavy."

"The 'take flight' notion is something that we really took seriously," he said.

The playing surface inside the stadium would sit approximately 40 feet below street level, allowing better connections to the adjoining convention space and a smoother integration with the structures around it.

That allows the elevations of the new stadium to "embrace those of the surrounding buildings rather than hoving over them," said Turner. Two levels of meeting and suite space would connect directly into the new convention hall included in the project.

AEG is currently in the middle of preparing its environmental reports for the stadium project, which includes the replacement of the Convention Center's aging West Hall. The company hopes to be in a position to break ground on the new hall in the middle of 2012, though to do so it must first secure a deal to bring an NFL team to L.A.

That little detail isn't holding back Gensler and ICON, who are currently in "full design mode" according to Romani. If all proceeds according to schedule, the structure could open for the 2016 NFL season.

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