Home run: New look for baseball headquarters

Friday 19 Mar 2010

Butlers Rodgers Baskett and C&G Partners redesign New York City offices for Major League Baseball

As Major League Baseball teams take the diamond in spring training, Butler Rogers Baskett (BRB) in collaboration with exhibit/environmental design firm, C&G Partners, re-designed the headquarters for MLB, the office of the Commissioner at 245 Park Avenue in New York City.

The redesign includes including a new full floor with an executive conference center.

The new 24,000-square-foot conference center brings functions to the building previously held off-site and includes expanded workspace; a 1,500-square-foot sub-dividable multi-purpose room with advanced audio-visual and teleconferencing capabilities and eight smaller meeting rooms.

Baseball images and icons are referenced throughout the design. Textures inspired by the sport — base-like fabrics, baseball stitching in leather panels, aluminum, steel, terrazzo and wood — appear in the interiors. Glass walls are etched with baseball statistics, changing seasonal displays showcase historic memorabilia from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., streaming videos reprise information from the MLB website; baseball news and headlines appear on LED tickers throughout the facility; carpet-and-terrazzo flooring recalls a grass-and-dirt baseball diamond, conference tables are made of ash, the favored wood for baseball bats, and “billboards” with changing graphics decorate the multipurpose room.

C&G Partners created the permanent murals, graphics and installations that animate the new lobby and conference rooms, and surrounding spaces. The installation can be updated as players, statistics and champions change.

The visitor’s pathway recalls the experience of walking through a baseball stadium as an angled hall leads up from a compressed elevator lobby to a single, oversized door and a large, open reception area. This space features a backstop-shaped module with focused lighting, a seating area bordered by aluminum trim, and an architectural interpretation of the iconic Major League Baseball logo realized in backlit glass.

Other features include life-size figures dressed in National and American League uniforms, with plaques containing facts and images of their home stadiums, a curved, ash wall that references a scoreboard. Support spaces are clad with vinyl-padded panels, resembling those used on an outfield wall, stitched together with baseball seams.

A timeline mural in one of the reception area shows the connection of the Negro Leagues to MLB.

The 25-foot-tall by 10-foot-wide interior trilon comprises three billboards that visually connect the floors. The billboards display the names of all countries participating in the World Baseball Classic, the player rosters and tournament images change.

Jennifer Potash

News Editor

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