Last Sunday’s Conversation asked for readers’ opinion of the latest design drawings of the planned downtown arena from the Sacramento Kings and their architects. We asked:
What do you think? Is this design reflective of Sacramento? Will it pull people and businesses downtown? Are there changes to the look, design or layout of the project that you think will help it achieve its redevelopment task?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Arena design wows
Re “Arena design: A king’s crown or crushed can” (Page A1 and Forum; Feb. 2): The “love it/hate it” reactions to the arena proposal are exactly what a cutting-edge design should invoke.
Otherwise it would be too boring for words. Art, including architecture, should inspire strong feelings and initiate conversations. The glass pyramid I.M. Pei designed for the Louvre in Paris created a huge uproar when it was proposed. Closer to home, when plans were unveiled for the new addition to the Crocker Art Museum, they drew raves and jeers.
Today, both structures have been accepted as iconic additions to their respective cities.
My opinion of the arena design? Wow. Let’s seize this opportunity to create something truly spectacular. I hope city officials hang in there and resist any pressure to dumb down the design to a safe, conventional structure that could exist anywhere.
– Marsha Holmes, Elk Grove
Design needs reworking
The new arena design has too many sharp, hard edges and the structure appears standoffish to the surrounding urban ecosystem. I expected a more feminine structure with curved lines and a more organic feel.
Recent Olympic venues are good examples of this style. A Google image search will provide many examples. In our capital city, there are enough hard edges and straight lines – literally and figuratively.
Those of us who are not sports fans will need a more inspiring and imaginative design to get on board with this project. Art can add immense value to a community, but this design falls short.
– John M. Rivett, West Sacramento
Turn arena around
One of the major benefits of locating the proposed arena at the Downtown Plaza site was to help revitalize K Street.
With that in mind, I am surprised that the current plan shows the main entrance at the Northwest corner of the arena, facing away from K Street. This is like putting the front door of your house facing the backyard. Not very welcoming.
I recommend changing the orientation of the entrance to face down K Street, which would provide a spectacular visual all the way down K Street to the Convention Center, and would serve as the crowning jewel of a new, revitalized restaurant and entertainment district.
– Chuck Robuck, Newcastle
Give us brick and wood
Sterility, that’s what we get architecturally, as reflected in the new addition to the Crocker Museum and now the design for the new Kings arena. All the open viewing of the Kings arena is fine, but how about some brick and some wood, something like a castle, something natural.
– William J. Hughes, Sacramento
‘Squat, rotund monstrosity’
The pictured design of the downtown arena looks like the cut-off bottom half of a paper lantern. How does this squat, rotund monstrosity reflect Sacramento?
– Donna Reed, Davis
Grand view? Hardly
The assertion by Rob Rothblatt, head of the design team, that the arena design offers a grand view, likening it to Half Dome with its reach-for-the-sky profile, reminds me of Lloyd Bentsen’s comment to Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate, “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy”.
I’ve been to Half Dome. It indeed offers a grand view and is an inspiration to many. Sir, this arena design is no Half Dome.
– Linda Carpenter, Sacramento
Welcome to the circus
Sacramento tries so hard to be hip and sophisticated. But the rooftop lighting design proposed for the downtown stadium is right out of Barnum and Bailey.
– Richard Sickert, Sacramento
Crushed can it is
I vote “crushed can” and with all the grace, style and charm that suggests.
– Ma Figueroa, Sacramento
‘World-class bad’ design
It’s absolutely horrible, a very juvenile design that will be plagued with many problems. The new arena design will look out of place and be another world-class bad decision of Sacramento. Please, will an adult finally speak up in this town and speak the truth?
– Phillip Barkowsky, Folsom
‘Laughable, and a little sad’
One more voice, if I may, to add to the chorus of those who find the design of the proposed Kings arena to be laughable. Laughable, and a little sad. Sad because such a design – totally enamored of tech – has become all too predictable nowadays. Sad, too, when thinking what the passage of time will do to a building that wears its fragility on its sleeve. No, better than this, I contend, would be to construct an arena that, for all its technological marvels (for of course we must have them), would present to the city a facade that paid homage to the centuries. I’m talking carved marble here. Now that would be daring. That would be pushing the envelope.
– Scott M. Taylor, Elk Grove