BIG's new stadium for the Redskins could offer abseiling, surfing and kayaking

| 37 comments

Bjarke Ingels has unveiled his firm's new stadium design for American football team the Washington Redskins, set to feature a moat offering an assortment of sporting activities.

Although a location for the new Redskins stadium complex has not been chosen, BIG has already developed a design, which was unveiled on US television show 60 Minutes yesterday.



A scale model of the proposal shows a bowl-shaped stadium with a wavy outer wall, surrounded by a moat crossed by angular bridges. BIG has also revealed a rendering showing surfers, rollerbladers, kayakers and abseilers.

According to Ingels, the "very practical" design is intended to cater to a wide spectrum of activities before and after football games.

BIG's new Amercian football stadium for the Washington Redskins could offer abseiling, surfing and kayaking

"The stadium is designed as much for the tailgating, like the pre-game, as for the game itself," said the Danish architect.

"Tailgating literally becomes a picnic in a park. It can actually make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game."

BIG was first linked to the Redskins project in January, fuelled by an earlier post on Ingels' Instagram account showing M&M candies emblazoned with the Redskins' controversial mascot — an Indian chief.

The firm would not confirm the rumours at the time, stating only that it was working on a National Football League stadium for an undisclosed client.

M&M NFL style

A photo posted by Bjarke ingels (@bjarkeingels) on

The Redskins currently play at the FedEx Field, an 82,000-seat arena in Maryland designed by HOK Sport in the 1990s. The stadium has been criticised for offering bad views from certain seats, forcing fans to stand up, and for being difficult to reach by public transport.

The new stadium is expected to be built in the Washington DC metro area. It would be BIG's first stadium, so the firm would likely be paired with an office with experience in designing NFL facilities.

Copenhagen-based BIG is rapidly expanding its presence in the USA and Canada, having released a series of new designs over the last two years. It is partnering with Thomas Heatherwick on the new Google headquarters and working on a skyscraper for New York's Hudson Yards.

It also has numerous projects underway, including the Via 57 West tower in New York and the overhaul of the Smithsonian campus in Washington DC.

  • Noah

    It’s a bit disappointing to see a firm that I admire this deeply working for such a terrible client. Not sure how one can justify working for an organisation that has chosen to retain such a divisive and damaging racial slur as a name.

    • greenish

      Completely agree, and in anticipation of all the “OMG political correctness gone mad” comments you may well receive, guys check your privilege.

      • Rem

        More privileges than what native Americans have? Seriously?

      • Derek_V

        You must be joking. “Check your privilege” is the quintessential “argument” of “OMG political correctness gone mad”.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Explain how that is damaging. And explain what it is dividing.

      • Noah
        • Concerned Citizen

          That’s just a protest looking for a cause. Back in the day when people could think, names meant something. A real football team wants its name to evoke power and prowess, skill and cunning. So, names like “Chiefs”, “Warriors”, and “Redskins” were chosen to represent that emotion. Some people cannot see the honor in that. And all of society cannot bow down to those whose mission it is to complain an litigate for self gratification.

          It is the whiner who is causing the divisiveness, not the name.

    • Derek_V

      And all of a sudden… a Social Justice Warrior.

    • Kayleigh

      Why is the client terrible? Is this complaint coming from a certain section of society genuinely aggrieved or a latte-sipping brat?

    • RG3

      Whoa Noah, step back! First, where did you gain the privilege to make such condemnations of corporate architecture?

      Yale? MIT? Oxford? Or some lesser, landlocked land grant institution? Or is it hereditary in your cultural/ethnic group? Speaking of which, aren’t you also ashamed of your own name? It’s actually quite divisive.

      Have you even ever abseiled Noah?

  • Plike

    Noah, you and your ignorant political correctness are the problem in the world.

    • Noah

      I’m sure you’re right. It couldn’t possibly be the genocide of an entire continent’s worth of people.

      • Derek_V

        There was no genocide. Only in your twisted imagination.

  • knownquantity

    Fed-Ex Field opened in 1997 and it’s already “obsolete” by NFL standards. That doesn’t bode well for any of the new multi-billion dollar stadiums currently being built/planned.

  • Trent

    Okay so last year, if you wore a RS T-shirt it meant you were a football fan who likes a particular team. Today it means you don’t give a sh*t about the PC police. I don’t like sports but I am looking forward to the day this shirt arrives in the mail because I like its new meaning.

    “Cracker Azz Skateboards” is fine with the patent office but the Redskins aren’t cutting it. The commercial tells us Indians never call themselves Redskins but that’s not true. They often call their own sports teams “Redskins.” They don’t have a problem with the word. White people do.

    At the end, I was going to say, “What’s left, food?” because I honestly can’t think of a field where PC isn’t annoying people with their stupid rules. Food (no trans fats or big sodas), toys (Barbie’s body is not attainable), shoelaces (red means racist), Halloween (appropriation), music videos (same), comedy (stand-ups get sued for jokes), shoes (high heels are America’s burqa)… Seriously, what’s left? Socks? Children’s birthday parties?

    • Derek_V

      If you copy a quote from Gavin McInnes then at least have some dignity and quote him.

      • Trent

        Sorry Derek_V but I lost my dignity a long time ago.

    • Noah

      This is a really foolish, yet surprisingly common argument. Marginalised and oppressed groups are allowed to reclaim the epithets that are used against them. It is absolutely their prerogative.

      The epithet “cracker” cannot carry the same weight for two very clear reasons.

      1) It refers to the position of dominance (the cracker of the whip)
      2) It has never carried sufficient political and institutional power power as to prevent people from getting jobs, provoke sentencing in trial, or any of the other things that genuine racial epithets actually do in practice.

      Your list about food, shoelaces (seriously?) halloween etc., is either nonsense, or basic guidelines to not being an a**hole. Native American culture has been all but erased by white American culture. There is a movement spearheaded by N.A. and First Nations people to change it. The least the team can do is respect that they don’t want to be called that and change their name.

      • Trent

        If ‘marginalized and oppressed groups are allowed to reclaim epithets that are used against them, it is absolutely their prerogative’ then that would mean that the Jewish culture is “entitled” to Germany right?

        Or maybe the millions of Cubans who were basically slaughtered by the Spanish & Argentinian communists (whom I sure you’re very fond of) have the right to reclaim Spain or Argentina (el Che Guevara)? Or maybe Christians should begin to reclaim Jordan? Before you give your opinion based on emotions or pre-dispositioned hatred towards one group (white Americans) try and give it two seconds of thought in an unbiased way. Fool.

        • Noah

          That’s not what an epithet is. It means that they are allowed to call themselves things that we are not allowed to call them. It obviously doesn’t mean that they are entitled to the land of their oppressor. That’s just an odd notion.

          You don’t get to call black people the n-word. They can call each other that. It should be obvious. Where in any of this is a hatred for white Americans expressed? I am one. I think we’re a mixed bag. Who told you that being asked not to use racial slurs against marginalised people is the same thing as being oppressed?

      • Mech

        So if crackers via this “prerogative” thing eventually become the minority, and are discriminated upon by Native Americans in very much the same way as native Americans were doing to other tribes (who by the way were present hundreds of years before they came around) I’m sure you’ll be the first in line protesting, no?

        • Noah

          This is a nonsensical interpretation of what I said. If white people were to be oppressed, like, for example, the Irish and the Italians several decades ago, they would be able to call each other whatever they want, but would be sensibly offended when someone called them a slur. This is not complicated.

      • Derek_V

        Racism is not prejudice and power. That is a Marxist reinterpretation and completely false. Racism is prejudice based on race full stop. Minorities can be as racist as majorities.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Regardless of the state of the existing stadium, can the Redskins really justify a stadium that large?

  • LankyRunner

    Liking the thinking behind this. Stadiums generally lay dormant all week to the general public, but offering activities outside the stadium makes it a place worth visiting outside of game hours for more people. Good work BIG.

  • davvid

    They should just change the name of the team. It is needlessly disrespectful.

  • orangeeli

    Football fans are always sober and well behaved, and there are never really crowds pushing into stadiums, so a moat with limited crossings is a great idea!

  • Carlitos

    The Native Indian American society is not in solidarity with the argument that the term red skins is insulting or demeaning to their culture.

    Shows the true influence and guilt trip (to all non-Native American folks) that the PC world has in our already divided nation.

  • Mase

    Well, the chicken has come home to roost. Poor Bjarke and his self promotion, now has clients like Rupert Murdoch (actually he pulled out) and Dan Synder, lol.

    The problem with being a prostitute (a person who sells oneself), is well, you are for sale. Best of luck staying true especially while slaving for the American corporate machine. Heard Trump may want a piece of your goovy Miami style.

  • HeywoodFloyd

    I can already see the crappy retractable nylon security stanchions set up to keep drunk football fans from drowning. That is if the moat isn’t the first thing V/E’d to begin with. Although I suppose it will shorten the line at the men’s room. What an embarrassing joke this firm is.

  • Tom

    From a logistical point of view, bridges to a stadium as the only points of access are going to create bottlenecks. Look at Docklands stadium in Melbourne – with two principle bridges as the main access to the area they become a nightmare post-game. And that’s a small, 50,000 seat stadium that doesn’t fill up that often.

  • Ed Rock

    This is a joke right? Style over substance over crazy. This is wrong – it’s not Redskin football. You build this and it’s time to turn in the keys to your NFL football team. Here’s a concept, build a football stadium! You use the the Cowboys, Seahawks, or even Lambeau field as a jump off point.

  • ACAD

    Why do I think it is dangerous that a site hasn’t been selected for this. Is the stadium really that void of site specific response it can go anywhere? Hmm.

  • Justin

    “The NCAI maintains that teams with mascots such as the Braves and the Redskins perpetuate negative stereotypes of Native American people, and demean their native traditions and rituals.”

  • Jan Limon

    It doesn’t matter if you like the name or not. If they end up changing their name in the future then they will have a nice stadium to go along with their new mascot.

    An architect understands that you aren’t working only for the contemporary moment but you are planning the future as well. Great job BIG, keep it up.

  • Gdavies

    This debate is ridiculous. BIG cannot be held accountable for a client’s name and I don’t see why they shouldn’t work for them.