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Gensler architect on LAFC stadium: “Everything’s been running very smoothly”

We speak exclusively to Jonathan Emmett on the Banc of California Stadium project.

Courtesy of LAFC

LOS ANGELES — The date is set: April 29.

That’s when MLS expansion team Los Angeles Football Club plays their first competitive game at their new home, Banc of California Stadium. With that date only a few months away, anticipation regarding the team — and the venue — is ratcheting up.

With progress coming along, and the project rather miraculously staying on schedule throughout, the stadium has gone from a series of renderings to reality in about 18 months.

And seeing the renderings become reality surely has more resonance than most to Jonathan Emmett, Design Director at Gensler, the architecture firm that designed Banc of California Stadium and the person who led the project.

“It’s coming together fast, that’s for sure,” Emmett told Angels on Parade exclusively during a tour of the stadium in December. “I think it’s really starting to feel like the inspiration from day one.”

In particular, with the roof itself going up around the stadium, complete with high-tech fabric used in the likes of stadiums like Bayern Munich’s, Emmett explained the stadium was truly feeling like it’s coming together.

“Now that the roof canopy is starting to come in, we starting to see the ETFE fabric in place, I think we’re really finally starting to get a sense of the intimacy of the venue that we were all excited about from day one,” he said.

When asked about the challenges of the project between the plans and the actual reality of building it, Emmett said there was “nothing specific” to note on that front. He highlighted the fact that LAFC will, in fact, play their first ever home game in their brand-new stadium, something that will happen for the first time ever for an incoming MLS team.

“Everything’s been running very, very smoothly, we’re on time, and we look forward to the start of the season,” he added.

While Gensler will fully hand over the reins of the facility to the club this spring, ahead of the April 29 game against the Seattle Sounders, there’s plenty of work to do, with the letters of the venue’s name going on the roof this weekend, and one more addition that Emmett says will change the way we look at this massive construction project very soon.

“I think the next big step, obviously we’ll be seeing some grass go down in the next month or two and I think that’s going to completely transform the way we feel about the venue as well.”

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