Baseball players are hardly alone in experiencing opening-day jitters. Less than a week before the March 30th opening of the Washington Nationals’ new home, the first LEED-certified Major League Baseball stadium, scores of bricklayers, painters, electricians, and other contractors were still hard at work. Designed by a joint venture between the international firm HOK Sport, and D.C.-based Devrouax + Purnell Architects, the $611 million ballpark was erected in just under two years.
Nationals Park sits on South Capitol Street, a formal axis in Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s 1791 city plan, a dozen blocks south of the Capitol’s iconic white dome. HOK Sport senior project designer Jim Chibnall says that the cityscape inspired his design and materials palette. Cladding the steel-framed structure are roughly 58,000 cubic yards of the beige precast concrete, which resembles the limestone common in D.C.’s landmarks, as well as glass and metal panels.