A clearer vision of the Atlanta Falcons' $1 billion new coliseum has emerged, and one thing's certain: You can't accuse the project of lacking originality. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has obtained more stadium details and the prettiest, most information renderings of the potential "Pantheon" to date. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, whose brass unanimously accepted this conceptual design, has stressed this stadium could work on either potential site, though these renderings are clearly leaning south. In a way, the structure harkens Beijing's "Bird Nest" — with a dose of right angles and a center-roof that closes like a camera's aperture. Said one 360 Architecture official: "I think it's going to set the bar."
As the newspaper reports, a handful of intriguing new design details have emerged alongside the renderings. To wit:
The stadium would include a towering glass window in the corner of one end-zone's seating bowl to offer downtown views. The large thin screens around the roof opening will henceforth be known as the "video halo." The stadium will be wrapped in an exterior "skin" made of bulletproof polymer (to ward off the occasional Saints' drive-by?) that will lend the structure a transparent look and blur the line between indoors and out.
While our hats are off to such an innovative preliminary design, it must be noted the "panoramic" skyline view would frame only a sliver of the downtown skyline, from roughly SunTrust Plaza to 191 Peachtree Tower. But redemption could come via early sketches (see above), which depict greenspaces and additional trees flanking the huge structure. Let's hope those elements are woven into the surrounding environs in an inspiring, functional way.