The 8th Wonder of the World to breathe new life.
When it was built, the Astrodome was the biggest indoor structure in the entire world. It was the first domed stadium ever constructed and housed the Houston Astros and Oilers for over three decades. Over time, certain structural features inhibited favorable playing conditions. The Oilers relocated in the mid-90s, and soon after, the city approved a new stadium for the Astros in Downtown, Houston.
Unlike other abandoned stadiums, the Astrodome was not demolished on the spot. 20 years later, two architects are setting out to transform the Astrodome into a 22-acre, active open-air urban park.
The masterplan is headed by architectural designers James Richards and Ben Olschner. Their project, called A-Dome Park, seeks to perpetuate the intended communal function of the original structure. While in its heyday, the Astrodome was in use for only 15 weeks during the year, the A-Dome Park plans to offer more flexibility and accessibility year-round.
The project’s centrepiece is a two-mile trail that spirals around the dome to the very top. There, visitors will have panoramic views of the Gulf, Downtown, and a vast surrounding park. While the design duo plan to make minimal structural changes to the stadium’s original form, their new infrastructure changes will make space for restaurants, an indoor parking lot, and a museum dedicated to the history of the Astrodome.
Their planned alterations will transform the complex into a hub capable of hosting large events, such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, to smaller occasions.
What do you think? As of now, the project is in the hands of local government. If you support the concept, visit their website to learn how to have your say!