A minor league baseball park for Lubbock, Texas
Structure of a building can be used as an important part of an architectural language to express an architect's thoughts and emotions. In order to communicate thoughts and emotions through architecture, architectural designers can express themselves through an architectural language rather than a spoken language. Architects can express thoughts and emotions through the manipulation of certain elements such as light, color, form, materials, textures, and structure. Architects can express their thoughts and emotions but should not overlook the needs of the clients and users. This thesis will discuss the manipulation of structure as a means to define and thus convey the thoughts and emotions of the architectural designer.
Le Corbusier, Antonio Gaudi, and Louis Kahn are a few examples of architects who chose to express thoughts and emotions through the architectural language of structure. Le Corbusier believed that through structure, one could communicate harmonious natural order. Antonio Gaudi concentrated on the structural elements of nature to help guide him in designing many of his buildings. Louis Kahn believed that architects must understand the natural order of structure so they can be faithful to it. He realized the importance of revealing certain structural elements to help define and characterize a volume of space.
Because of the inherent design of baseball stadiums requiring inclined stands and upper decks without obstructed views, a certain degree of structural knowledge is required. However, many existing baseball stadiums appear to be only engineering feats much like bridges spanning long distances. When designing stadiums, architects put emphasis on the structural engineering rather than emphasis on architectural space. As a result, architectural space is left undefined and thus the baseball stadium loses its identity and integrity. A baseball stadium should become more of a baseball park. It should be a place where spectators can relax, release emotional stress and serve as a place of fellowship. But most importantly, a baseball park should provide a comfortable atmosphere in which to enjoy "America's pastime". In designing a 6000-seat baseball park in Lubbock. Texas for a Double-A baseball team, I hope to express the architectural structure to help define the different spaces throughout the ballpark. In expressing this architectural structure, I also hope to enhance the user^s thoughts and emotions of experiencing the recreational activity of viewing a professional baseball game.