Sport – Mexican-born architect Francisco Gonzalez Pulido, head of Chicago-based international firm, FGP Atelier, completed the Estadio Diablos Rojos, Mexico’s largest baseball stadium. The cutting edge architecture not only reflects the country’s culture and history, but also integrates the surrounding community while simultaneously serving as the home base for Los Diablos Rojos, or The Red Devils, local baseball team.
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“Estadio Diablos is much more than a stadium, it is Mexico’s ballpark,” says Gonzalez Pulido to Archipanic. “We challenged ourselves to create an architecture that would serve as a social and cultural center for years to come. The project “offers inclusivity, encourages social engagement, and incorporate Mexican traditions. It was designed from the start to serve as one of Mexico’s landmark institutions and to re-instill a sense of excitement and passion into the sport of baseball.”
Located adjacent to the Formula One Race Track in the sports complex of Magdalena Mixhuca – a former Olympic Park that continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, religious, and sporting events – Gonzalez Pulido worked with local architect Alonso de Garay of Taller ADG to establish a cohesive flow.
Upon entering the stadium, visitors are confronted with six truncated pyramid-like forms clad in indigenous volcanic rock which form the base to much of the structure while also providing outdoor terraces at the higher level away from the arena that include food stalls and an area for socializing. “The shape and materiality of the forms, which recall ancient Mesoamerican temples, serve as a reminder of the country’s rich history and also perfectly marry ceremony – by providing an awe-inspiring entrance – and innovation”.
Overhead, the roof forms one of the most impressive aspects of the Mexico City’s largest stadiums to date. Aptly-shaped in the form of a devil’s tail to reference the home team’s devilish name, the monumental yet lightweight structure is composed of steel wrapped in PTFE textile material that plays with the light. The largest crane in the world was employed to life the technologically-advanced massive truss structures into position while digital scanning techniques secured precise alignment.
The Estadio Diablos was also designed to collect rainwater to prevent waste. The actual stadium itself exhibits the feel of an open-air amphitheater because of the ‘floating’ trident spear roof and features an impressive 11,500 covered seats and 8,500 additional seats in the outfield—all designed to offer fantastic views of the ball game. Every aspect of the design was carefully thought out to encourage social interaction within and outside of the stadium.
To enhance the ultimate goal of creating a stadium for everyone, Gonzalez Pulido had to take into account the affluent crowd drawn by the nearby racetrack events and sporting events in general, as well as the lower-income community surrounding the facility. VIP level box rooms overlooking the field are incorporated and a certain amount of low-cost seating reserved specifically for the surrounding community were implemented.
In addition, the pyramid-like structures were designed to integrate a public plaza circling the stadium. “The plaza has various objectives—it is meant to be used year-round as a market for the community members to sell their goods—thus expanding their ability to create a sustainable source of income—and to bring a diverse group of people together”.
Estadio Diablos showcases a new paradigm of architecture for sports facilities that perfectly melds culture, technology, and provides various different avenues and arenas for social engagement—a factor that is a large part of Mexican culture.
All photos courtesy of FGP Atelier.