On July 1, 2022 Pendulum celebrated 15 years in the architectural and design marketplace. We’ve been labeled a lot of things over the years, our favorites include “disruptors”, “innovators”, and “market challengers”. More than anything we are incredibly thankful for our mentors, collaborators, families, and staff for supporting our award winning progress over the years. We invite you to enjoy our 15 year video below as a few of our Pendulum family members discuss our 15 year milestone and where they see us headed in the future.
Stay tuned for weekly announcements every Friday in July. We have a lot to share about the next chapter in our history. For a recap of past celebrations starting at year 10: @pendulum_kc
Videographer – John Iiams, Pendulum
Video Edit – Joshua Williams, Behr Production
Original Music Score – Joshua Williams, Behr Production
Jonathan Coles auction items to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters KC 2020 “Most Wanted” Auction go live November 12, 2020
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City (@BBBSKC) 2020 “Most Wanted” Auction opens to the public on November 12th, 2020. As a 2020 “Most Wanted” honoree, Jonathan O’Neil Cole has assembled a collection of sports legend memorabilia for bid that are second to none. Be sure to register to bid on the BBBSKC site by clicking the button below:
Jonathan’s roots in stadium design inspired his collection of auction items that honor sports, music, and creative legends. These legends are from Kansas City and beyond. All items highlight 25 years of nurtured relationships.
Mitchell Bat Company Custom 2015 Royals Painted Baseball Bat
2015 Custom Bat from Pendulum’s Private Collection
In 2015 the Kansas City Royals won the Word Series. In honor of the win Nashville, TN based Mitchell Bat Company – http://mitchellbatco.com – released a series of custom painted baseball bats in the Royals color way. Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole jumped on the opportunity to commission one of the custom bats for his personal collection. This auction is for the custom bat and leather bat hanger.
Sports Legend Clayton Kershaw Autographed Baseball & Los Angeles Dodgers Memorabilia
World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers Memorabilia
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been crowned 2020 Major League Baseball World Series Champions. Clayton Kershaw was a key contributor to the Dodgers’ historic advance to the World Series win.
Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole has nurtured a relationship with the Dodgers’ organization over the years through Janet Marie Smith – current Senior Vice President, Planning and Development. Janet’s career in the sports architecture world is well documented with one of her most famous projects being Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. Janet was very kind in her willingness to facilitate the donation of this authentic autographed Sports Legend Kershaw baseball, Dodgers Stadium 3D model & Jackie Robinson statue on behalf of the Dodgers organization.
Sean Kane Painted Glove – Wood Plank Wall Art: Sports Legend Buck O’Neil
Wood Plank Wall Art – Buck O’Neil Custom Painted Glove
Canadian artist Sean Kane is famous for his period correct custom painted baseball gloves – www.paintedgloves.com. Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole commissioned Kane to paint two custom gloves that are closely linked to two career milestones. The items for auction are photographs of each commissioned glove printed and laminated on wood planks. Each come with certificates of authenticity from the artist.
In 2005, Cole spent time with Mr. O’Neil at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, TX. Cole was struck by how Mr. O’Neil’s personality lit up the room – “he was just magnetic, there’s not one person that could resist wanting to be around him” said Cole. Cole was inspired to commission a custom Sports Legend Buck O’Neil glove currently on display at the Pendulum headquarters.
Regarding the Buck O’Neil glove Cole stated, “It is especially meaningful to me because Buck is a Kansas City sports legend. I feel the challenges he overcame in baseball are very similar to the challenges I’ve experienced in the profession of architecture. His example inspired me to keep challenging the market, and to keep sharpening my skills. As such we’ve had the privilege of designing a number of amazing ballparks and look forward to more in the future.”
Sean Kane Painted Glove – Wood Plank Wall Art: Sports Legend Hank Greenberg
Wood Plank Wall Art – Hank Greenberg Custom Painted Glove
Sports Legend Hank Greenberg, nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank” was best known for his tenure with the Detroit Tigers in the 1930s and 40s. As he designed historic Tiger Stadium renovations Cole learned a great deal about Greenberg’s legacy.
Cole was selected to design Dunkin’ Donuts Park in downtown Hartford, CT where Greenberg’s career began. Cole learned that the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats, Josh Solomon, was a huge fan of Greenberg. Upon completion of the construction of the ballpark in 2017, Cole presented Mr. Solomon with a custom painted glove of Hank Greenberg as an opening day gift. This auction item includes a photograph of the painted glove printed and laminated on wood plank for display.
Sports Legend Jimmie Johnson Autographed NASCAR Hat
Jimmie Johnson Autographed Hat – Michigan International Speedway
Rick Brenner, President, Michigan International Speedway, has a long career history in Minor League Baseball. Baseball is where Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole began a relationship with him. As an executive in Minor League Baseball, Brenner led his respective organizations to many prestigious awards throughout his career. In 2010, the Fisher Cats were awarded the Larry MacPhail Award, which recognizes the nation’s best in promotional effort.
Brenner invited Cole to conduct a design study at Michigan International Speedway in 2019. Pendulum completed the installation of a new modular seating solution. Cole attended a race after project completion on June 9 and witnessed Jimmie Johnson compete. Sports Legend Jimmie Johnson is the only race car driver in history to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He is a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, sharing the all-time record with stock car racing icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson is the author of one of the greatest championship runs in sports.
Brenner was kind enough to donate this Jimmie Johnson Autographed Hat for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Most Wanted silent auction.
Sports Legend Marcus Allen Autographed & Framed Jersey with Newspaper
Marcus Allen Autographed Jersey
Bobby & Karen Schumacher, Owners of Vintage Fabrication LLC, an Independence, MO-based classic car customization legend, forged a bond with Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole. This bond began with a commission to design a custom interior for a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa.
Schumacher, a member of the Kansas City Automotive Museum Executive Board, nominated Cole for a board seat and they now serve on that board together as the museum prepares to embark on a capital campaign for the design and construction of a brand new home in downtown Kansas City. The Schumachers were kind enough to donate this framed and autographed Sports Legend Marcus Allen jersey [including a newspaper from this career era] for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Most Wanted silent auction.
Sports Legend Muhammed Ali Autographed Boxing Gloves
Scott Samson & Ali Autographed Boxing Gloves
The Muhammad Ali autographed boxing gloves are a special donation from Scott Samson; a dear friend, amazing acoustical engineer, and design collaborator. Mr. Samson and Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole forged a friendship beginning with their design collaboration on Fifth Third Field – home of the Class A Dayton Dragons.
In addition to Fifth Third Field, Jonathan and Scott worked together on the design of Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Class AAA Louisville Bats in Louisville, KY. Sports Legend Muhammad Ali was born and raised in Louisville; Mr. Samson’s donation essentially brings the relationship with Cole full circle.
‘Plush Friends’ Mega-Bundle
Plush Friends Mega-Bundle
These soft and huggable 12” furry friends are ready for adventure! They are a perfect gift for the young or young at heart in your life. Chris Evans, executive creative director/partner of Kansas City, MO based SPIRIT! has had a long collaborative relationship with Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole. They’ve worked together on a number of local and national projects. SPIRIT! Is a creative marketing agency dedicated to making kids and families your biggest fans.
Kansas City Music Legend Bobby Watson – Five Autographed Compact Disks
A saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his “doctorate” on the bandstand – as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
For more than three decades now Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, and sensitive music to the modern-day jazz lexicon. All told, Watson, the immensely talented and now-seasoned veteran, has issued some 30 recordings as a leader and appeared on 100-plus other recordings, performing as either co-leader or in support of other like-minded musicians. Not simply a performer, the saxophonist has recorded more than 100 original compositions including the music for the soundtrack of A Bronx Tale, which marked Robert DeNiro’s 1993 directorial debut. Numerous Watson compositions have become classics such as his “Time Will Tell,” “In Case You Missed It” and “Wheel within a Wheel,” each now oft-recorded titles that are interpreted by his fellow musicians both on the bandstand and on other recordings.
Pendulum’s Jonathan Cole commissions local jazz musician, producer, and composer Joshua Williams of Behr Productions to arrange custom tracks for various lifestyle and videos releases. Josh has performed with Bobby on numerous occasions and was gracious enough to provide Jonathan with these autographed albums to add to the fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters Kanas City.
Help Jonathan’s campaign for Big Brothers Big Sisters KC
Pendulum is honored to share that our Montreal Excitation concept, a ballpark, practice facility, and concert venue has been awarded a Rethinking The Future (@Rthinkingfuture) ACDA 2020 First Award for Sports & Recreation Concept.
Pendulum’s concept is sited on the historic 1967 World’s Fair Island in Montreal Quebec Canada. This fact offered a significant challenge: how do we respect the historical significance of the site while embracing the beautiful natural topography and pay homage to the signature architecture that surrounds it?
One of the stated goals of our concept is to provide site connectivity both physically and visually. Pedestrian plazas, walking trails, boat docking areas, and concourse breezeways create connection to adjacent site features. Because of the interruption of the angular extrusions in the building facade individuals within the facility are allowed to look out and view adjacent iconic architecture and landscape.
Many thanks to Rethinking The Future and the Jury Panel for their hard work and consideration. It is humbling and an absolute honor to be recognized by our international design peers.
RTF Awards Invites Architects and Interior Designers from across the World to submit their Built/Concept Projects
“Rethinking The Future Awards program aims to bring exceptional works in the field of Architecture the prestige they deserve. The objective of these awards is to raise awareness around the strategies Architects and Designers are employing to deal with the contemporary global challenges, and to bring the best of such projects into the light to inspire the next generation”
The Grill Nation Show featuring Jason Grill and Jonathan Cole will air on Saturday July 11, 2020 on KMBZ 980AM and on iTunes. In this clip Cole answers the question “what is your favorite stadium (that you didn’t work on) and why?” It is just a sneak peek of the full conversation that goes into detail about Pendulum’s history, inspirations, emotional muscle memory, and design methodology.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday…this will be a lot of fun!
Rethinking The Future announced the Winners of their RTF Awards 2020 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, including Pendulum’s Sports and Recreation Project [Concept] entry, ‘Future Stadia‘. The conceptual design for the modular sports complex ranges in capacity from 3,000 seats to a total possible capacity of 10,000 seats. The design was created with the intent of targeting communities that desire to promote economic development with sport as the catalyst for growth.
Click image above to view our Project Image Gallery and video
Rethinking The Future Awards are one of the most renowned awards in the field of architecture and design in the world. The Rethinking The Future Awards program aims to bring exceptional works in the field of Architecture the prestige they deserve. The objective of these awards is to raise awareness around the strategies Architects and Designers are employing to deal with the contemporary global challenges, and to bring the best of such projects into the light to inspire the next generation.
About Rethinking The Future: RTF provides an interactive platform of the highest standard, acknowledging the projects amongst creative and influential industry professionals. Born out of the need to create ‘fresh perspectives’ on international trends in architecture and design, RTF is now a well-established platform that is the go-to platform for millions of people around the world. RTF stirs discussions on contemporary issues in the field of architecture and the radical approach required to deal with them.
Many thanks to our amazing team: Mickey Ahammed, Theresa Cole, John Iiams, Pat Ryan, and Michaela Simpson. Without talent, vision, and collaboration the Pendulum does not swing!
Pendulum is pleased to announce a new website feature now live in our portfolio. We are kicking things of with the multi-award wining Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats.
Visitors are welcome to drag their mouse or finger across their computer screen or smart device and rotate the digital model in a walking tour of the ballpark. There are hot spots that can be clicked to launch enraged images and brief descriptions of featured areas.
Jonathan Cole, founding principal of Kansas City, MO based Pendulum stated “virtual reality and 3D visualization is an important part of our daily process from the very beginning stages of design. We communicate the sometimes crazy ideas rolling around in our head in real time and in a human scale which in my mind is a great advantage over the historic use of scaled physical models. Our clients no longer have to interpret our drawings because we are placing them in our models at every meeting, it’s an environment that feels very real. This new web feature also allows us to engage the public/fan and experience the ballpark before they arrive at a game…they’ll know what to expect; we think that’s powerful.”
Click the rotating image above to launch our new interactive feature. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements, more ballparks will be added.
Baseball is and always will be America’s favorite pastime. It represents everything we love about sports; enjoying the outdoors from spring through summer, an ice-cold beer, a few grilled hot dogs, and roasted peanuts. Let’s not forget about the precision of the perfectly thrown pitch and the unmistakable crack of the wooden bat when it makes contact with a leather-covered ball, which somehow influences us to set aside the anxieties of life and focus on what’s good. Whenever we’ve had to endure tough times as a nation baseball has always been there for us. This makes baseball more than just a game, it’s like emotional muscle memory. For some reason every time we pass through ballpark gates we immediately recall the good times. In all honestly, I think this concept of “emotional muscle memory” is why baseball purists are so passionate about preserving the look and feel of the old-time ballpark. It’s there to remind us of the good times we had with our fathers and our grandfathers just two generations back, and we can’t forget that it’s no longer just a game for men and boys…Minor League Baseball (MiLB) has made it a family affair, which I think is a key to how we continue to evolve the fan experience in the future.
The Future Forecast
The demand for new and substantially renovated ballparks will continue to grow. However, the rules associated with securing financing to support this growth will continue to be a moving target; for the first time in a long time, creativity is not just on the shoulders of the architect. New ballparks are going to continue to develop where there’s population density. Although this is not a new concept, the real focus is going to be in the diversification of ballpark offerings. Without question ballparks are going to continue to get smaller which promotes environmental and economic sustainability. Intuitively smaller ballparks should warrant smaller construction costs, yet I don’t think it’s that simple. The reality is we are headed toward a much more aggressive “ballpark village” concept that significantly blurs the demarkation line between public and private space. This will cost money on the front end but will yield benefits in due time for team owners and municipalities with true vision. We’ve seen modest efforts in the regard in places like Fort Wayne, Indiana at Parkview Field, with concourses open to the public in non-game day conditions but I want more. We proposed a truly blurred line ballpark concept in suburban Columbia, South Carolina back in 2005 that ended up being a vote or two short of reality (see opening image), yet the energy behind my thoughts then are slowly gaining ground again.
The real question that can only be answered in time is how will baseball respond to change? In my travels I continue to see aggressive interest in small to mid size markets that just want a fraction of what MiLB has accomplished at a larger scale, yet access to the affiliated brand is incredibly limited. In all fairness the only opportunity for growth outside of expansion in virtually all of affiliated baseball is a change in venue a la build a new ballpark in a new community. We’ll continue to see the desire for this type of move develop here and there reminiscent of the Hartford Yard Goats leaving New Britain, CT to build Dunkin’ Donuts Park just 12 miles away in nearby Hartford, CT, but I think soon investor’s hands will be tied, team valuations are at an all time high and MiLB mandated territorial restrictions leave very few options available. I predict we’ll see enhanced investment in college wood bat teams by affiliated brands similar to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers who launched a Northwoods League team two seasons ago in Fond Du Lac, WI. This leads me to believe the demand for a “small park” business model will continue to grow. Cities like Gastonia, North Carolina recognize the benefits of utilizing a ballpark as an economic development catalyst for adjacent underutilized parcels. The Fuse District Multi-Sport Facility to be located just west of the heart of Downtown Gastonia (see images above) has just broken ground and is scheduled for completion in March of 2021. Pendulum worked with City leadership to compress the ballpark envelope as much as possible to allow room for development pad sites to be intermingled within the ballpark footprint with unparalleled views to the field of play.
The completion of Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, MI (pictured above) four seasons ago is proof of this concept. Although it is not an affiliated brand of baseball, and there have been a number of critics making their case based on this fact, the key to the long-term success of the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) is clearly the development of the next “right sized” ballpark to lesson the strain of four teams in a standalone venue. Over-utilization of a ballpark designed for short season play (off site team administration, modest clubhouse accommodations, and limited storage) will begin to take a toll in the next couple of seasons without a sizable infusion of capital improvement funds.
Enhanced Technology Integration
The ballpark of the future must allow it’s owner to embrace diversity in the marketplace, generate revenue, and energize the community it serves. I believe integration of new and emerging technology is the next frontier. The only way I can truly support this claim is to take you as the reader back to the beginning of my career as a sports architect. In 1998 I was introduced to Mr. Henry Stickney who was then CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties. The time I spent with him and his incredibly bright marketing and operations team between 1998 and the opening of my first MiLB ballpark, Fifth Third Field in Dayton, OH (pictured on the left) was eye-opening. Of the many things I learned, the most important as it relates to this discussion is when Mr. Stickney told me that “we’ve got to change the way people think about what we’re selling”. Fifth Third Field is significant in this regard because to the best of my knowledge it paved the way for things to come in the use of technology specifically as it relates to sponsorship and advertising. While most teams at this point (April 2000) followed tradition and plastered advertising all over the outfield wall, Fifth Third Field changed the game by incorporating technology borrowed from NBA scorer’s table roller boards adapted for outdoor use in the outfield wall. For the first time in Class A ball, if not all of MiLB rotating sponsor messaging (other than the rudimentary tri-vision signs) was in play but they didn’t stop there. Within the next two seasons a major investment was made in digital ribbon boards…again borrowing technology that we’ve seen lining the rim of the upper deck in NBA arenas for years, now being used outdoors with and incredible impact on revenue potential. Fast-forwarding to today, ribbon boards and super-sized scoreboards are par for the course, yet it seems to be where we’ve paused for the moment as a design community, and frankly it feels like “low hanging fruit”, I want more…
In 2010 we proposed a new Class AA ballpark for the Expo 67 site in Montreal Quebec Canada (pictured above) with the intent of placing technology at the forefront of our concept . The field was to be heated, the warning track was equipped to flood for ice skating, the entire outfield – foul pole to foul pole would consist of towering multi-media displays integrated for use during ball games, concerts, hockey exhibitions, conventions, etc. Yet again the project fell victim to vacillating political will yet I think the spirit and intent of our thoughts then will start to emerge in ballparks to come. However, I predict emphasis will be less on just named advertising sponsor benefits, It think we’ll start to see more input, options, and control being offered to the consumer. The reality is that the majority of ballpark patrons have a smart phone at his/her disposal. This is certainly different from when I was an early teen – at best there was one “phone-in-a-bag” per household (if that), and the chance of me having random access to the only mobile phone in the house at that time was slim to none, it never left my father’s side. Today, in addition to “a” smart phone there’s more than likely a tablet, and laptop for each individual in the family. This begs the question, when are teams going to start truly capitalizing on this technology?
In 2011/12 the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers out of necessity started offering app driven concession orders (due to limited points of sale). Patrons could order through the app and they would be texted when it was ready for pick up. After we renovated the ballpark for the 2013 season we increased the points of sale by double and as revealed in our interview with team president Rob Zerjav in “The Details Episode One” , the new point of sale ratio was so good that patron’s use of the app dropped significantly.
I think consumers are ready for the next round of innovation in ballpark offerings and integrated technology. I certainly have strong opinions on where I think things are headed, bekin technology in some form is at the top of my list. This type of technology reaches beyond simple bolt on solutions, for successful integration it’s going to take a collaborative effort across a number of disciplines (architecture, app development, environmental graphics, way-finding, acoustical engineers, lighting designers, artists, etc.). Most importantly it’s going to take thought leadership from the front office…we need you to not be afraid to look ahead and influence change. For this reason I think everyone should keep their eyes on the Hartford Yard Goats. I’ve spent a lot of time with Josh Solomon and Tim Restall over the last two years and I can sincerely tell you that their organization’s willingness to put it all out there is refreshing, first and foremost for the Eastern League, but also for me as a sports architect. We’ve collaborated at length on ideas involving the incorporation of interactive digital directional messaging at Dunkin’ Donuts Park (pictured below). Although we haven’t totally resolved the finished product, the infrastructure is in place.
Next Up – Future Stadia
Ballpark design for the future as identified in this discussion will promote building smaller compact footprints as a key component in a larger context. Technology will be brought to the forefront and will promote more than just naming rights and advertising, the consumer will have an opportunity to jump in the driver’s seat with multimedia, concession, and merchandise. The data collected in this space should push per-caps to an all time high. That being said, yes…caution is warranted – we as designers and fans of the game have to make sure that we avoid trying to force the sport into being overly complicated and distracting; after all, our “emotional muscle memory” still craves baseball nostalgia so let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is still the perfect game…and at the end of the day, it’s about being sixty feet & six inches from the pitcher’s mound to home plate, and ninety feet between the bases. I don’t think we’ll ever see that change, and that’s a good thing.
That being said, this is an interesting time in sports. With the growing interest in soccer as a sport in the USA and the success of MLS and the recently restructured USL, baseball is not the only option for municipal leaders in search of economic development catalysts. Pendulum and a select team of partners is looking ahead to a time when we as designers offer more than professional services. Instead we use our expertise to formulate products that focus on a modular delivery methodology. We start with a building core that is able to expand in phases and grow with the host community – it’s “The Small Big Idea” personified.
Jonathan Cole is one of the founding principals of Pendulum, a multi-disciplinary architectural practice based in Kansas City, MO. Jonathan has over twenty-five years of dedicated experience in design, documentation, construction and business practice associated with Minor League ballparks.
We spent a little time recently in Europe recharging our design batteries and searching for unique culinary experiences…we also conducted a little business here and there. We could go into great detail but let’s keep it simple: 1.) Gaudi…wow! 2.) La Boqueria (Barcelona) – yes, some things are still crawling…that means it’s fresh, whack it over the head and let them cook it for you…delicious 3.) Roma! Food – yes please, Architecture – amazing, Food…yep, I realize I’m being repetitive. After the food be sure to level out with a little “Pastis” and don’t forget the water back.
Casa Mila – Gaudi
Casa Mila Interior – Gaudi
Casa Batllo – Gaudi
Arch of Constantine + Coliseum – Rome
After Rome we spent a little time in Bologna Italy…evidently the Ducati factory and museum closes on the weekends which was very disappointing; I know you know how much we love Ducati. To top it all off we got into a small altercation with local pick pockets…but hey, we both came home with our wallets – enough said…no pictures.