HKS to design Nippon Ham’s stadium with retractable roof



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Nippon Ham Stadium - Japan Image: Nippon Ham Fighters/HKS

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters recently unveiled the basic design for their new ballpark with a retractable roof that will be completed in the spring of 2023, the Japan Times reported. The venue which will be Japan’s second retractable roof stadium, will be designed by the architecture firm HKS.

The 35,000-seat facility referred to as the Hokkaido Ballpark, will have a traditional old-style Hokkaido home high peaked roof with a huge transparent “glass wall” on the outfield side of the park to allow the park to be fully enclosed during the cold snowy winters and still support natural grass field.

The stadium will be four stories high with the field being on a floor lower than the ground level. There will be hot baths in the upper deck according to the plans and a playing surface which will be symmetrical, which was unheard of until the opening of Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium in 2009.

In another new for a Japanese stadium, the Fighter’s stadium is expected to have 3,000 to 4,000 parking spaces. In a country where majority of stadiums are dependent 100 percent on public transportation, this will be a deviation from tradition. The local government of Kitahiroshima with the cooperation of the Hokkaido Railway Company is also planning a new station to be built near the park.

A new entertainment district will be developed with restaurants, retail, housing and parks built adjacent to the new venue. HKS will work with construction contractor Obayashi Corp. and project manager Yamashita PMC Inc. to provide a design-build service for the Fighter’s venue. The estimated cost of the project will be $530 million and the construction is expected to start in the spring of 2020.

The first park to have a retractable roof in Japan was the Yauoku Dome in 1993.

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