October 2, 2018

Fenway Park architect among seven vying to design WooSox stadium

Image/Courtesy
A rendering of the proposed Polar Park, to be home of the Worcester Red Sox starting in 2021. Fallon Health said Monday it has become a founding sponsor of the team.

Worcester city officials are set next week to interview the seven architect firms that submitted bids for the $90-million Canal District ballpark project, including the Somerville firm that designed several improvements to historic Fenway Park in Boston.

The Designer Selection Board begins its review of firms Wednesday, when it will consider JCJ Architecture of Hartford; EwingCole of Philadelphia; and DAIQ Inc. of Somerville.

On Thursday, the board will consider several firms with international experience, including Sasaki Associates of Watertown; Safdie Architects of Somerville; Gensler Architecture of San Francisco; and Pendulum of Kansas City.

Those seven firms are bidding to help design the future home of the Worcester Red Sox, which is relocating from their longtime home of Pawtucket, for the 2021 season.

According to city spokesman Mike Vigneux, those firms are the only to submit proposals for the project.

According to the firms' websites, Gensler Architecture, Pendulum, EwingCole, and DAIQ have experience in designing sports and recreational facilities. DAIQ took on several improvement projects at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox and the Worcester Red Sox' major league affiliate.

According to the team, the design and construction of the ballpark would be overseen by team President Larry Lucchino and Janet Marie Smith, senior vice president of planning and development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who partnered to create Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992 and who together oversaw a decade of improvements to Fenway Park, starting in 2002.

Pendulum boasts a portfolio of several minor league and spring training baseball facilities, while Gensler's portfolio includes the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Sasaki and Safdie, both with offices in the Boston area, boast vast portfolios of residential, office, airports and other structures from around the world.

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority issued the request for design services in late August shortly after the team and city announced a deal to build the ballpark in the Canal District. Necessary approvals and contracts with construction firms must be in hand to start construction by July 1, according to the deal.

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