Portland Timbers Selects Allied Works Architecture To Design Expanded Home at Providence Park
An innovative vertical design increases capacity, building on the dynamism and history of the stadium
Allied Works Architecture revealed design plans for the expansion of the historic Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer and Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, and one of the most venerated venues in North American soccer, following the recent announcement of the firm’s selection. Taking inspiration from the vertical uplift of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, the design calls for the addition of a new four-level-high rise of stands on the stadium’s east side—adding some 4,000 seats—and the creation of a striking new public arcade on street level. The modern, yet historically influenced, expansion amplifies the excitement, drama, and diversity of the stadium, and preserves its connection to the neighborhood in downtown Portland, allowing the community to share in the energy within.
Construction on the stadium is slated to begin as early as fall 2017 and will occur in two phases during the offseason, with completion expected ahead of the 2019 or 2020 season. The project follows Allied Works’ commission to design the training facilities for the Timbers at their offsite practice fields in Beaverton, OR, and builds upon the firm’s expertise in creating transformational spaces that respond to specificity of place.
“The Timbers have sold out every game at Providence Park since joining Major League in 2011, and our wait list for season tickets has grown to more than 13,000 fans. An expanded Providence Park ensures that the Timbers and Thorns can remain viable in their unique downtown location for the long term,” said Mike Golub, president of business for the Timbers and Thorns FC. “Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works were the obvious partners for this project. The firm is distinguished for its modern, innovative designs that respect a project’s site and identity of place. Furthermore, as a native Oregonian and a fierce Timbers fan, Brad understands on a personal level the significance of this project for the teams and fans alike. His vision for the expansion builds upon the history of the field and, through its seamless integrated design, helps to create an ever-more-dynamic experience.”
Allied Works’ expansion for Providence Park completes the original master plan for the stadium, first proposed by the office of A.E Doyle and Morris Whitehouse in advance of its construction in 1926. While the original envisioned a heavy, cloistered arcade, AWA’s design calls for a structure of open steel lacework, creating transparent platforms of people, banners, light, and activity. A scrim of steel tension cables forms a woven, textile-like façade for the new building, which rises four stories from the street. At the sidewalk, fans walk under a covered arcade the length of the stadium, with sight lines into the field remaining open along 18th Avenue. The two of the upmost floors are enclosed in glass, with balconies overlooking the city, and the top floor doubling as an event deck that may be used year-round. The new roof structure reaches out from the concrete frame to shelter the exposed main east side stands.
“The expansion of Providence Park creates a new urban stadium type—a transparent civic platform—revealing the life of the game on the field, in the stands and in the streets,” said Brad Cloepfil, principal and founder of Allied Works. “The design was conceived to amplify the excitement, theatricality, and intensity of the stadium experience by offering the unique sensation of being in the heart of the action no matter where you are, connected at once with the game and the city.”