Pendulum co-founder Jonathan Cole sits down with Wisconsin Timber Rattlers President & General Manager Rob Zerjav to discuss their collaborative journey from initial design concepts to completely renovated ballpark for the 2013 season. Zerjav elaborates on several of the new design features as well as his ideas on where the market is headed in the near future.
There’s great before and after shots of the ballpark at the end of the video so be sure to hang on to the end.
Rob Zerjav – It was a crazy busy day for you and you still found the time…much appreciated!
Pooby – Incredible food service, the custom burgers were amazing!
John Iiams – photography, video & edit
Music: J. Rawls Presents the Liquid Crystal Project – Track 12 “Cao” & Track 14 “Crystal Outro”
Approximately twelve years ago the President & General Manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Rob Zerjav and I began “chatting” about the “what ifs”. Those of us in the sports design business are very familiar with this “chat”, in fact we all field calls and chase down leads with team owners, municipalities, and general managers in hopes of being selected to design the next ballpark. To be honest, 75% of the time the projects never happen after pouring your entire being into getting it across the finish line. For some reason this project felt like the exception to the rule. We’d get heavily involved in charting a course and then we’d slow down for a year or two…”the timing is just not right” Rob would tell me. We’d start again and we’d inch closer but then we’d slow down again. Finally after ten years I got an email from Rob saying “I know you’ve heard this before, but this time I think we’ve got a good shot”. The rest is history.
My father always says “timing is everything”. That familiar phrase used to frustrate me as a youth but I can see the wisdom in his words now. The truth of the matter is if Rob and I would have closed the deal 12 years ago the ballpark “addition” (I refuse to call it a renovation anymore), would be totally different from what it is today. The project matured over time as the traditional baseball model continued to evolve.
The original ballpark was constructed in 1995 for a total of $5,000,000. Since the ballpark was designed for only seasonal use (no winters), there was a substantial void in premium amenities which translates to unattained annual potential revenue. While our initial focus was on a ballpark renovation that would fix minimum compliance issues per the MiLB Facility Standards, Rob and I both knew that there was more to this project than a few band aids. The Club Lounge is what makes this renovation an “addition”.
We added a full service kitchen and 30 foot bar to accommodate the 4,500 square foot Club Lounge. Over 400 guests are comfortably served at events with premium views to the playing field surface and outdoor access to the tiered balcony deck equipped with padded stadium seating. State of the art audio and visual equipment including a projection screen and LED televisions facilitate presentations during corporate events and weddings which push the space over the top.
The one programmatic item that never changed during our “chats” was the fact that Rob wanted to make a visual impact with the new covered ballpark main entry, team store and front office. He was very consistent in saying “this organization and my staff deserve to look professional and feel like champions”. We added approximately 20,000 square feet of retail, administrative, and hospitality spaces to this ballpark, in essence doubling the original (1995) enclosed square footage.
Design Architect – Pendulum
Signage & Graphic Design – Pendulum
Architect of Record – The Boldt Company
Approximately 50% of the existing structure was demolished
The overall enclosed square footage was doubled
Toilet fixtures and Concession points of sales were doubled in capacity
Ballpark storage capacity was doubled
Yes – the ballpark now meets MiLB Facility Standards
Rob Zerjav, you are a man of your word and one of the most gracious individuals I know. Thank You!
John Iiams – Our “ambassador of kwan” – great effort on this project!
Although it was a cold and rainy day in early April 2013, the formal reveal of the ballpark renovation effort was warmly received by the public. After ten years of talking, sketching, brainstorming, 3D modeling, and tearing through rolls of trace paper, the vision of a new Time Warner Cable Field as seen through the eyes of Team President and General Manager Rob Zerjav was finally realized; and in our opinion it was worth the long wait.
Pendulum Studio was tasked with designing a renovated facility that would not only compete in the current marketplace but also look toward the future and answer the question…”where is the market going?” We believe the answer to that question is different for every market based on a number of complex variables, i.e. size of market, existing amenities and infrastructure, and financing options. However, at the root of the issue at Time Warner Cable Field was first resolving the basic need to increase fundamental front office infrastructure that included new administrative offices, team store, doubling the capacity of fan toilets and concessions.
The remainder of the allocated budget was focused on enhanced curb appeal/street presence and increased premium amenities for year-round use. The series of images below focus on the premium club addition located above the existing main concourse behind home plate. The newly constructed 10,000 square foot program includes the following:
VIP lobby & elevator
Banquet space to accommodate 250 patrons
Club lounge overlooking the new main entry
Six premium suites
Outdoor banquet seating
Integrated AV system for weddings and corporate functions
Full service banquet kitchen and prep area
Executive wash rooms
Stay tuned for final images…once it stops raining and snowing in Wisconsin. We’ll be posting a complete walking tour of the facilities last spring/early summer.
Things are coming together at Time Warner Cable Field. Most of the major design elements are in place and we’re now focused on the small details. Signage and way-finding installation is well under way. Opening day on April 8th is going to be a night to remember.
As the design for the new ballpark continues to evolve we are starting to get a feel for some of the new premium spaces – a bit of a departure from tradition with the furniture layout. We believe it compliments where the premium game day is headed – less about the living room and more about community and interaction.
If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past five years it is that economic sustainability is key to survival. This applies to business practice in general but in a greater sense it applies to how we approach projects as architects, designers, and collaborators in the future of the built environment. It is clear that as key influencers in decisions related to site selection, program, building systems and materials, our ability to equip our clients with an environment that promotes long-term sustainability (environmentally and economically), is in many cases the determining factor between project success and failure.
Although we’ve always been individually business minded, I have to admit that five years ago this discussion would have been skewed more heavily toward our passion for design…and although aesthetics/outward appearances continues to be one of our many priorities, experience has taught us that real design success is often gauged by our ability to navigate the politics, the budget, and the business end of the business.
The past five years have taught us about the evolving definition of “capacity” :
1. Our client’s perception of our capacity (as in competence) to design and document the work.
2. Our clients perception of our capacity (as in the appropriate staff) to execute the work.
3. Our client’s perception of our capacity (as in financial ability) to maintain the work.
The projects below document the five-year journey from our firm’s infancy to adolescence. Each project listed certainly contributed to our growth from the aforementioned first phase of “capacity” to the next. We are still learning, we are still growing, but most importantly we are still in love with this profession. We thank our clients for their confidence in our firm and look forward to what the future will bring.
Pendulum Studio Built Work 2009 – 2011
East Village Apartments
The East Village Apartment building is the first phase of a master planned ten block redevelopment of downtown Kansas City, MO. This fifty-unit, four-story residential building was designed to complement the neighboring Power & Light Entertainment District and accommodate Kansas City metro citizens that desire to live and work within the urban core. As the master architect for the development, Pendulum Studio was instrumental in the creation of design standards and development guidelines for the Urban Redevelopment District (URD) approved by the City of Kansas City Planning and Zoning Commission.
Swope South Health Clinic
The Swope South Health Clinic is a 5,000 square foot tenant improvement of an abandoned strip mall located at 87th Street and Troost in Kansas City, MO. The scope of the project included selective demolition of existing partitions, cooking equipment, and finishes to be replaced by exam rooms, community meeting space, and administrative offices. This project is an example of Pendulum’s ability to deliver a turn-key, fast tracked solution that included general design, interior finishes, FF&E selection and coordination, custom fabrication, and construction management. The total scope of work was completed in four months.
The Corn Crib
The Corn Crib is a multi-purpose sports facility shared by the Normal Cornbelters, a Frontier League Independent Baseball Club, and Heartland Community College men’s and women’s athletics which includes baseball, softball, and soccer. The stadium consists of 4,500 fixed seats, twelve premium suites, four locker rooms, and a flexible artificial turf playing surface equipped with a removable pitching mound that accommodates quick changeover between events. In addition tot he aforementioned cope, the total project cost included a soccer and softball practice field, 600 paved parking spaces, and 600 grass parking spaces. The Corn Crib is a good example of Pendulum’s ability to deliver a significant project scope with a modest budget on a fast-tracked schedule.
This rooftop hospitality building is located on the uppermost floor of the Cosentino’s Market parking garage at the corner of 14th Street and Main directly adjacent to the Jones Pool. The building program consists of four water closets, three urinals, six lavatories, a drinking fountain, and storage area. The purpose of the building is to allow the City to serve patrons that desire to eat lunch or walk and enjoy the sun during the work week. During the evening hours and on weekends when the weather is favorable, wedding receptions and civic events can be hosted on the rooftop comfortably accommodating up to 600 patrons. Although the City required a conventional “bricks and mortar” delivery method, Pendulum learned valuable lessons from this project. Given the right circumstances the implementation of a prefabricated “off-grid” delivery method would allow the installation of an identical building for half the budget in half the time. Pendulum continues to study this modular approach to design that will be showcased in future projects.
AP23 Indoor Sports Complex – Columbus, OH
Bethany Medical Clinic – Wyandotte County, KS
Crime Lab – Kansas City, MO
KCP&L Cross Town Sub-Station
Rush Wade/2 Studio & The Guild – Kansas City, MO
Time Warner Cable Field Renovation – Appleton, WI
The Reason We Are Here
As we look optimistically toward the future and the next chapter in our story we must without question offer many thanks to the individuals that have been instrumentally supportive of our existence:
For Inspiration and Encouragement:
Dr. Donovan Case, Mrs. Carolyn Case
Mr.Jonathan Cole Sr., Mrs. Bernice Cole
For Tolerance and Understanding:
Katrina Case, Darian Case, Jasmine Case
Theresa Cole, Ethan Cole, Jordan Cole and Gianna Cole