Okay, I’ll admit it: This Seattle Arena deal just got quite a bit more interesting. Not only does it now look like a new NBA arena in Seattle will actually get built since investor Chris Hansen has an agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle, but 360 Architecture of Kansas City has unveiled completely updated designs of the proposed downtown structure. And while they may not be exactly what you’d hoped for, they at least have discussion points.
The original designs presented to the city in December were less than stellar, basically a large box, flat Tupperware-like lid and plenty of covered stairs for a large entryway. What would be the third major sports venue in a four-block radius did have a bit of a ferryboat-style look, if you wanted to get imaginative.
But now, gone is the ferry-like features and instead we have a bronze Jello mold adorning the top of a glass box. The relocated Sacramento Kings will likely bring back the old Seattle SuperSonics moniker, so the Jello mold is said to resemble a jet-engine turbine. Keep in mind, though, that the “forms and finishes” are only preliminary.
The giant steps leading to the entrance remain in the latest iteration.
The box did get a bit more extravagant, however, with an entire rainwater harvesting system that captures stormwater and wastewater and sends it through a transparent wall, offering a visual for fans and those passing by. Using rain gardens, green walls, vines and a green roof, the designers plan to capture and use more than 3.5 million gallons of water each year from Seattle’s famed precipitation, roughly 76 percent of all rainwater.
The water treatment aspect of the facility, as seen in an arena-sized wall on one side of the structure, will treat over 4.6 million gallons of blackwater and graywater and over 6.7 million gallons of used potable water.
If the Kings do move to Seattle in time for the start of the 2013-2014 season, the new Seattle team will play in KeyArena for two years while the new $490 million arena gets built. Hansen has already secured an agreement with Seattle and King County that uses $200 million in public bonds to help him pay for the otherwise privately funded arena. The facility’s revenue will pay back the bonds, under the agreement.
With the money all set, we can sit back and watch the design evolve until construction starts. Let’s just hope it does evolve.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He has also written for TIME, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.