After the first sketches of a possible Queens soccer stadium leaked out Monday when someone made a video of an architect’s lecture, it’s easy to see why those planning the project don’t want to go public yet. The stadium’s opponents, namely New York City Park Advocates president Geoffrey Croft, are already calling the floating-doughnut design a “nightmare,” and Major League Soccer is distancing itself from the design. “These drawings do not represent what the stadium will look like,” MLS President Mark Abbott told DNAinfo. “This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint.”
The images, which show a round, open, doughnut-shaped roof appearing to hover over the stadium’s top tier of stands, came in a talk SHoP Architects principle Gregg Pasquarelli was giving at Columbia about building the Barclays Center, on which he was lead architect. A video of the talk appeared on the blog Nets Daily, but has since been taken down. “It’s all about making a new kind of stadium that has no walls, that’s completely open at all times,” Pasquarelli said, according to Capital New York, which had previously reported that SHoP had been tapped to design the stadium MLS is pushing for Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.
But after Croft complained about the design, calling the stadium, “the equivalent of parking three enormous aircraft carriers in the middle of a public park,” Abbott distanced the soccer league from the architecture firm: “In fact, we haven’t selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club.” So, no floating doughnut then?