New renderings of Lucas Oil Stadium

August 21, 2007
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The state has released new renderings of Lucas Oil Stadium that more accurately reflect the brown brick color. What do you think?

Lucas Oil 1

Lucas Oil 3
  • i still love the overall design, but it still burns my eyes to see the tilted footprint. i know it's pointing towards the skyline, but it's bad urban planning. not pedestrian friendly/not on the street grid. but i love the throwback design, retractable roof, use of brick, etc. great project overall...
  • Why does everything sports complex built in Indiana have to be designed to look like the old Butler fieldhouse?
    And if we are spending $750M+ for this thing, why didn't we spend a bit more and make it as big as the Dallas stadium? Then at least we could compete for a SuperBowl.
  • Ryan, it's not necessarily bad urban planning at all. It is still on the street grid and follows the rules and guidelines of CUF (Compact Urban Form). The streets aren't altered at all, the footprint tilted adds a new dimension to the skyline, will please the visitors to the stadium to see the skyline, and provides AMPLE space around the building for pedistrian friendliness. Tons of plaza space and large walking areas. The streets don't angle, just the building.
  • I think that the Colts should pay back that 48 million dollar lease breaking fee. As I understand it, it's the Colts who are breaking the lease. It is too bad the city and the state did not stand up to the team more formally. No other city wants to have the Irsay's in their city!
  • Mark -- it's not exactly true that they didn't alter the streets. They did have to vacate Merrill St. between Capitol and Missouri, as well as a handful of smaller streets.

    Paul -- the City is the one breaking the lease by tearing down the venue that the Colts had a contract to use. That's not to say that the city didn't get screwed by the Colts....
  • Isn't Irsay kicking the $48 million back in as his contribution to the new stadium?
  • This is one of the few things that looks better in person than in the pretty pictures. They still don't have the brick color right, but I'm really glad they didn't build it with that horrid orange color that was on the original renderings.
  • I think Irsay has given $100M toward the stadium, effectively $52M when you take out the $48M lease buyout.
  • Cory -- are there any hi-res versions of these renderings?
  • Joe
    I concur. Its seems each time our city has a chance to build world class
    architecture we opt for safe & acceptable. From Conseco Fieldhouse to
    Circle Centre to Simon HQ to the airport terminal to the convention center to
    Lucas Oil the theme is safe, non-controversial, conventional, and certainly
    not green.
    We deserve and perhaps should demand better.
  • mark - i see your point. i guess what i was trying to convey is that on the pedestrian level one cannot walk up to the edge of the building/entrance/etc. without crossing lots of asphalt. not the way existing buildings (well, historically speaking) are situated right up to the sidewalk. i truly feel that this layout is designed for the automobile and that's a shame. urban cores should give the pedestrian the most rights - conseco fieldhouse does that. it's situated right up to the sidewalk and is very accessable. i guess at the luke there is a plaza on the northeast corner, but i don't have any details on that.
  • Ryan - point taken. Aesthetically they made it historical, but historical in perspective of urban core and street side entrances, they did not. It will still be a sight to see when the massive amounts of people walking the pathways and plazas around it leave after a game. Then we will be glad that Indy does have a Street Grid pattern instead of other cities like Cincy where they twsit turn merge and end.
  • Look, I enjoy progressive architecture as much as the next person, but I also consider most of your examples (Conseco, Circle Centre, Lucas Oil, and the Convention Center) to be very nice pieces for what they are meant to be -- functional. Indianapolis is never going to be a city that will fit a Frank Gehry design into our landscape, and frankly, I consider the harumphing of the digerati every time a new design comes out to be even more gauche than some of the designs we've seen.

    I will admit that more risks should be taken when they are appropriate (i.e the Arts Garden). However, our stadiums have a theme of throw back, which are quite nice, and Circle Center, with its reused facades and other nods really add to the flavor of what makes Indianapolis..well, Indianapolis. To sit there and think we need to have some titanium monstrosity attached to our Malls just so we can have something architecturally significant is really asking to gild the lily.
  • Gehry is one style of many contemporary designers. There are many options
    beyond Gehry (Hadid, Libeskind.Calatrava to name a few). Good design is
    good design and should understand and incorporate its surrounding
    environment. That doesn't mean its necessary to go the easy neo, retro or
    safe route.
    Columbus became an architectural show place by hiring
    starchitects in the last half of the 20th century. Other cities are copying that
    The city deserves better especially in terms of green design.
  • I agree with CDC Guy. This is one of the rare things that looks better in person than the artist's rendering. This color is still not accurate, and what's actually there is better than the picture. I too think it's a good design and fits the bill well. What Dallas is building - I'm not sure what the material is, but it just wouldn't fit here in this location. And the diagonal placement is not bad, either. It's an interesting feature in this setting.
  • Nick, I agree with you that we have some good solid examples of functional architecture. I agree with you that we are not a place for Frank Gehry to take a commission. Consider, though, that most of the last generation of great architects took commissions in Columbus, Indiana...a small city in our region...and there are some designs that were edgy in their time without being revolutionary.

    Indianapolis mostly lacks challenging designs, though, with the possible exception of the new Library and the channel 13 studios (broadcast tower as front-yard public sculpture). The new airport is probably a little too far down the functional path for a city that wants to make an impression.

    Ryan, Conseco is anything but pedestrian-friendly...concrete walks and walls and parking garages surround it. Definitely no trees or plantings. I think Lucas Oil Stadium will be better precisely because of its tilted axis; it resolves one of the big issues at the Dome (lack of staging/entry area). With 14K (25%) more seats, staging and entry will be an even bigger issue.
  • Jim B -- This is one of the rare things that looks better in person than the artist’s rendering.

    In most cases, I find the opposite to be true. Once buildings are constructed and real and I can go see them, I almost universally find the structures more appealing than the renderings.

    That said, I definitely agree that the stadium is much more impressive in person. I'm not sure why the city felt the need to re-release renderings. The whole purpose of renderings is to show people what something WILL look like. People can go see the stadium for themselves RIGHT NOW!
  • mark - well said, i agree!
  • Joe -

    Indianapolis did not spend $1 billion+ to build a bigger stadium, because the local market could not support it. The Colts are doing well now, but think back the Harbaugh days and you'll recall all the empty seats in the RCA Dome. Once the Colts have a couple of bad years, the seats will go back to being empty. This is not the case in cities like Dallas. Even when the Cowboys are bad, they still fill the seats.

    Indianapolis is a fickle sports market and can't support 80,000+ seats.
  • Well then. Let's just tear the whole goddamned thing down. whiner. :(
  • Why is it we always take a conservative approach? And then we wonder why we are number #1 in a recession. If you look at the buildings in Dubai, you see vision, growth, prosperty.
  • I think it is actually important and different to have a retro design. Everything that is new and provacative becomes trendy and passe, and eventually outdated. Can we say Sky Dome, Three Rivers, Riverfront, Olympic Stadium, and a perfect example of different and outdated Assembly Hall. Not the case with Wrigley, Fenway, or Notre Dame Stadium.
    The stadiums and buildings that people long to keep are the classic architectural ones. If Indianapolis had an abundance of older turn of the century and 19th century buildings like a Chicago or New York it could afford to stray, but without that base we would end up with a city of outdated trendy buildings in thirty years. A perfect example in our city of this is the current Wellpoint headquarters on the Circle. The original building that was on that site was probably the most beautiful in all of Indianapolis and (I beleive the English building) was torn down in the 50's for a JC Penny's. Or take the current city/ county building built in the 70's vs. the old. No one walks by the 70's lego block and says wow , but that was built in the same fashion some are suggesting we should today.

    By the way a current lead architect in the Frank Gehry studio is from Indianapolis (Fishers) he was a 1993 graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School and went on to Yale and Carnegie Mellon for Architecture.
  • Rich-
    May I remind you the last stadium lasted only 25 years. I suspect the skyline of Dubai will last a bit longer. It's time to think outside the box unless we want to be remembered as an Old Indiana.
  • People wonder why there is a massive brain drain in Indy. One of the many, many reasons is the suburban nature of the entire city along with the boring conservitive architecture that screams out creative people, stay away.
  • Da Hooey -

    Not whining, just making valid points as to why we didn't build a 100,000 seat stadium.
  • I hope this board is not getting the Star whiners. It is too good for that. I will not rehash the Colts $100 million contribution, that has been debated ad infinitum on the other board. As far as Indy, I think Rich has said it best. Traditional stands the test of time the best. Indy has a historic and mostly intact downtown. That lends to including buildings that pay homage to that history. More examples of modern buildings that do not stand the test of time is the former Zipper Building that replaced an 19th century building that was much better looking, the INB/NBD/Union Planters/Regions bank building that is on its umpteenth redesign that replaced a beautiful Knights of Pythias Flat Iron Skyscraper, and so on.

    There is a reason that stadiums around the country are going retro. Conseco is consistenly voted the number one sports arena and I bet Lucas Oil will get the same designation.
  • Joe-

    Until the weather here in February is anything like the weather in Dallas, we cannot possibly compete for a Superbowl with a city in the southern states.
  • The LOS will surely be a new jewl to downtown Indianapolis.
    I personally think the slanted look will give more open space, and a more natural feel.
  • I personally love retro anything including retro fashion. Thanks for the post.

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