Worcester, WRA Introduce Architects to Provide Ballpark Design Services

DAIQ of Somerville, architects for Fenway Park’s renovations, will focus on Polar Park; Sasaki of Watertown, with world-class Beijing Olympics credentials, will focus on urban planning, streets, and parks; Both firms now enter contract with the Worcester Redevelopment Authority towards a July 2019 groundbreaking in the City’s resurgent Canal District

City Manager Ed Augustus meets with the media to discuss the Polar Park ballpark design process.

Worcester – The City of Worcester, on behalf of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority, today introduced D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects and Sasaki Associates to lead the design effort for Polar Park and its surroundings. The future home of the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox is scheduled to open in Worcester’s Canal District in April 2021.

DAIQ will provide architectural design services for the ballpark. Sasaki will focus on urban design and landscape architecture for the surrounding neighborhood as the City moves forward with plans to break ground for the public ballpark in July 2019.

The team will work together to restore the urban grid in a long dormant site in the middle of Worcester’s burgeoning Canal District, integrating baseball, urban parks and mixed use development. A primary goal of the project is to create parks and public places throughout the district.

"Dr. Charles" and Councilor Carlson at the introduction.

DAIQ is based in Somerville and is best-known for providing comprehensive architectural services for the Boston Red Sox during the multi-year plan to renovate and expand Fenway Park. The principal in charge of Polar Park is DAIQ founder, architect and Worcester native Tommy Quirk, AIA.

DAIQ’s ongoing 16-year effort to update the oldest park in Major League Baseball includes improvements to the ballpark's infrastructure, life safety, concession areas, restrooms, high definition video boards and advertising signage. Also included were renovated press areas, premium seating, luxury suites, club seating and lounge areas and the popular Green Monster Seats. Construction was accomplished over multiple off-seasons, allowing Fenway Park to remain fully operational during the baseball season.

DAIQ was also the lead design firm for a multi-year renovation of Dodger Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights to that project were new clubhouses, added field level seating, wider concourses, new scoreboards, plazas and concession areas.

Other high-profile projects spearheaded by DAIQ were the conversion of Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium into Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. DAIQ also led a major expansion and renovation of the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA that was accomplished in time for the 100th Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day of 2014.

Ballpark designer Janet Marie Smith talking with the media.

Sasaki Associates, based in Watertown, is an acclaimed design firm with roots in urban planning and landscape design. The firm will concentrate on the masterplan and open spaces including all streets and parks both within and near Polar Park.

Sasaki won an international design competition for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Green. The design included more than 1,700 acres of woods and wetlands, and the Olympic Forest Park is now Beijing’s largest public green space. The firm’s work includes Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park which provides spectacular views to Boston Harbor and the popular “Lawn at D” next to Boston’s Convention Center. They recently created a multipurpose waterfront park in Cincinnati adjacent to the baseball park and football stadium.

“This process reflects an extraordinary union of world-class architects with local roots,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “To have an accomplished Worcester native as a lead architect on the ballpark, and to have an Olympic-quality architectural firm expand the reach of the ballpark into the Canal District, is an exciting marriage that continues Worcester’s ascent.  With such intimate knowledge of Worcester, of Fenway Park, and our streets and parks, our City is poised to create a great ballpark and an even more vibrant downtown.“

In conjunction with the City of Worcester, the design and construction will be overseen by Larry Lucchino and Janet Marie Smith, who partnered to create legendary Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992 and who together oversaw a decade of improvements to Fenway Park, working collaboratively with DAIQ, starting in 2002.

“We admire the continued professionalism of the City of Worcester in this selection process,” said Lucchino, the Chairman/Principal Owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox. “The Design Selection Board was diligent in their hearings and gave thoughtful consideration to all of the very qualified architectural firms who applied for this historic role. The board’s recommendations that DAIQ and Sasaki, firms with experience in urban development, retail and entertainment environments, and in the case of DAIQ, the renovation of Fenway Park, make these local companies ideal for this project. We look forward to working with them as we head toward a groundbreaking in July of 2019 and an opening in April of 2021.”

“We are so pleased to have a first class, world-class architectural team at the helm,” said Smith, the renowned ballpark designer and urban planner who is also currently overseeing renovations to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. “We look forward to integrating baseball, urban parks, and mixed use development. The City of Worcester now has brought on the two firms who can brilliantly make that vision a reality.”

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