10-23-19 | Feature

Batting 1,000

The Battery at Sun Trust Park

HGOR designed the public areas of this 60-acre mixed-use project outside the Atlanta Braves' new baseball stadium Sun Trust Park. Named The Battery, it was meant to be "an unprecedented entertainment experience" with twenty restaurants, twelve retail stores, a music venue, five water features including a splash pad, shade canopies, baseball-themed sculptures, high-tech video screens, and widespread Wi-Fi, which required special conduit routing.
The plaza of the sports-anchored development was designed for maximum pedestrian flow for gameday visitors, but also a wide variety of seating options, including terraced seating, benches and turf for before and after games and days without games. A second-floor pedestrian bridge provides direct access to the ballpark from the plaza. v
To create a more kid-friendly atmosphere, a centrally-located, interactive water amenity was specified with seating areas for parents.
The elevated baseball sculpture is suspended from the 80-foot-tall, multi-level shade canopy that was custom designed by architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle and HGOR with help from structural engineers, Uzun+Case, then constructed under the management of American Builders.
For special events outside the ballpark, there is a main performance stage with a 26' x 11' LED screen with a large turf area that can hold more than 2,000 people.
To provide dimension to the plaza, another water feature, flanked on both sides by concrete benches, almost completely encircles the large artificial turf area.

The Atlanta Braves announced the team would be moving from its home at Turner Field to a future stadium in Cobb County for the opportunity for a more-connected environment for Braves Country. SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, integrates a state-of-the-art ballpark centered between The Battery Atlanta, Comcast's nine-story regional office headquarters tower; 550 luxury residential units; and a hotel. Designed for "the ultimate die-hard baseball fan," SunTrust Park brings fans a 21st-century ballgame experience. Braves baseball is so deeply ingrained in Atlanta that a live-work-play community in the heart of Braves country seemed the natural next step.

Accommodating Visitors and Residents
HGOR was hired by the Atlanta Braves, Liberty Media and a team of national developers to design the public areas of The Battery at SunTrust Park; a 60-acre mixed-use project. HGOR's design caters to the various types of end users, including the stadium visitors, office tenants, residents living in the multifamily buildings; visitors for entertainment at the Coca-Cola Roxy theater; shoppers for F&B and the retail tenants across the development.

With all the "mixed uses" available at The Battery-the South's lifestyle destination-HGOR set out to thoughtfully plan and design it where everything would holistically come together. The Battery Atlanta is for Atlanta Braves fans before and after the game at SunTrust Park. The Battery Atlanta brings baseball fans twenty restaurants, twelve retail stores and a music venue, offering an unprecedented entertainment experience 365 days a year, not just on game days.

"Centered around Socialization"
HGOR created a sense of place throughout the development with unique features, functionality, comfort and flexibility to create a more intimate and interesting environment than visitors experienced at the previous stadium.

"All designs are inherently centered around socialization - a key trend in sports-anchored, mixed-use developments," says HGOR principal, Lauren Standish.

The centrally located plaza is an approximately 76,000-square-foot terminus connecting the new stadium with two levels of surrounding retail, the office building and the hotel. HGOR maintained "end of the day" programming intentions throughout the design process to create a space where people would want to spend time on non-game days.

"The Vibrancy of Activity"
HGOR design principal, Bob Hughes says, "The focus was to preserve the vibrancy of activity for year-round enjoyment," and adds that the design team created five water features, a programmable stage and seating, event flexibility, iconic structures and integrated indoor/outdoor uses-all while creating great ROI for the client. "For example, initially the desire was to install natural grass, but HGOR decided to use a durable and sustainable turf that would hold up better against the high traffic, which is a better long-term investment for the owner."

The success of The Battery ultimately depends on activity, which includes the foot traffic of the plaza, of course, but also the interactions occurring before, during and after games, as visitors engage with the development. The team behind The Battery has striven to create the ultimate experience for fans, residents, diners, shoppers and all visitors by designing a comfortable, walkable, interactive and connected environment.

Plenty of Room for Guests
Surrounding the Battery Atlanta besides One Ballpark Center - Comcast's regional office headquarters tower - and the luxury residential units is the 16-level, 260-key Omni Atlanta Hotel. The area's retail space encompasses 500,000-square-feet of both shopping and restaurant and bar attractions. The ballpark itself has a capacity of 41,676 seats with room for an additional 3,000 standing-room-only patrons. The ballpark and mixed-use project include a number of outparcels for additional parking and development. The venue builds off brand connection to the city, acting as a catalyst to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods and spurring hospitality and retail development on-site.

Despite the aggressive schedule and obstacles along the way, SunTrust Park, designed by Populous, and The Battery Atlanta opened on schedule and to rave reviews by clients and the public alike. Atlanta Braves president of development, Mike Plant, called their team "the envy of the sports world" due to the record time for design and construction as well as the high level of design that defines the mixed-use development.

On April 10, 2017, SunTrust Park opened its 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-user after three and a half years of hard work, exceptional client service, and commitment from the entire development team. It was no small feat, but the brand-new SunTrust Park, along with the surrounding mixed-use development project, The Battery Atlanta, was completed in a record-setting 36 months.

Team List:
Client: Atlanta Braves Development
Landscape Architecture: HGOR
  Lauren Standish - principal in charge
  Bob Hughes - design principal
  Matt Mitchell - project manager
Project Management: Jones Lang LaSalle
Irrigation: Clark Irrigation Design & Consulting, Inc
Structural Engineers: Uzun+Case, LLC
MEP Engineers: Jordan & Skala Engineers
Environmental Graphics: Selbert Perkins Design
General Construction Contractors:
  American Builders (construction manager and joint venture)
   - Brasfield & Gorrie
   - Mortenson Construction
  Barton Malow Company
  New South Construction
  Batson Cook Development Company
  Reeves Young
  Juneau Construction
Site Contractors:
  Gibson Contracting
  Hemma Concrete
  Davis Landscape
  Wakefield Beasley & Associates
  C+TC Design Studio
  Beyer Blinder Belle

As seen in LASN magazine, October 2019.

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