In Progress: Marlins Ballpark / Populous

© Emilio Collavino

Architects: Populous
Location: , Florida,
Photographs: Emilio Collavino

© Emilio Collavino

Marlins Ballpark will replace the legacy of the memorable Orange Bowl in
Little Havana, adjacent to downtown Miami. Situated on the same footprint, the ballpark is intended to be the anchor for infill and redevelopment on
the site. This new 37,000-seat MLB facility will include a retractable roof to shield spectators from the sun and rain, inherently changing the perception of summertime baseball in Florida for generations to come. The bold vision of the County of Miami-Dade, the City of Miami and the Marlins is portrayed through the architecture as a modern, kinetic sculpture of faceted metal and glass.

© Emilio Collavino

Creating an Urban Center

The urban plan proposes a fundamental change in the character of the
old Orange Bowl precinct, recreating the neighborhood street network and reconnecting Little Havana to Northwest 7th Street and Northwest
17th Avenue. Within this framework of public streets, the ballpark, future development and parking garages are presented as urban buildings on city blocks, creating an urban center.

© Emilio Collavino

This plan proposes a civic setting for a civic building. Conceived as an urban gallery, the ballpark is located between major public plazas on the east and west boundaries of the site. Parking structures form the other two walls of the gallery, moderating the scale between the ballpark and adjoining neighborhoods. The western plaza is unlike any other place in Miami, changing as the roof is rolled over the park below. The ballpark will provide retail at its base to integrate with the proposed, adjacent retail development, intentionally creating a street edge that connects to the surrounding neighborhood.

© Emilio Collavino

The Ballpark as Sculpture

The building is conceived as an abstraction of water merging with land, symbolic of Miami’s coastal landscape. The base of the ballpark will create
a backdrop for urban life with arcades and colorful mosaics reflecting
the diverse culture of Miami. The arcades are capped by large sweeping balconies, allowing a continual pedestrian/spectator experience to the street life surrounding the ballpark. The east and west facades provide transparency to action both inside and outside of the ballpark, visually connecting and reducing the mass. The roof will become the kinetic element of the sculpture, moving as three separate panels to provide shade and weather protection
for all spectators. The roof movements will be reflected in the use of color
as a dynamic addition to the architecture. The seating bowl is comprised
of three decks with fewer than 10,000 seats in the upper deck, resulting in one of the most intimate experiences in all of baseball. Interior features will include atrium spaces filled with color and art, a half-acre operable window to downtown Miami and beautiful colors bathing the concourses.

This ballpark will be a civic sculpture with a strong connection to one place, one neighborhood, one city and one state.

Cite: King, Victoria. "In Progress: Marlins Ballpark / Populous" 25 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Mr.x

    This is one of the most stupid looking buildings I have seen in my career as an architect. You just have to drive on the highway next to it to see it in it’s ‘monstruosity’. Completely ltargic and incompatible with the surroundings it feels out of proportion, scale and purpose. Clearly one of those political moves in which some get lots of money..but unfortunately unnecessary for an already architecturally defunct Miami. Sad sad..

  • M

    The is prime example of a Miami having no concept of urban planning and little to no regard for its residents. Instead of placing the stadium in downtown, in one of the many vacant properties availible, they decide to tear down a piece of the cities history in the Orange Bowl. Displace the only true fan base in the city in the UM Football program and create a new stadium that towers over a residential neighborhood. The stadium is walled off, literally, by four garages. This “anchor for infill and redevelopment” created a south edge that is five stories high and solid concrete adjacent to one and two story residential. The “retail edge” to the north looks like an after thought in a prefab garage. It is sad to see a city with so much potential continue to make these mistakes.

  • Michael

    This is a disgusting abuse of taxpayer dollars and the poster child for the massive corruption among Miami county commissioners. The cost of this ballpark is $2.4 billion, and the city of Miami has to burden the cost because the scumbag Marlins hid their financials while at the same time bribing the city officials to get the deal through. Not to mention, no one cares about baseball in South Florida anyway, and the second that this ballpark opens, every commission responsible will be outed as everyone in the city plans to boycott this abuse of the system and our money.

  • DV

    Once known for, in the least, tactful urban responses birthing an era of urban revival ballparks albeit leaning heavily on retro romanticism, Populous has now dropped all claims to a legitimate design group with this monstrosity. The design is 30 years out-of-date and has yet to open.

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