Issues of “contextualism” raise this poster’s ire. I don’t, for a minute, buy into any ethos which celebrates “appropriateness”. There is no such thing. This is a major professional concern of mine. As a design practitioner, I have co-authored numerous projects which would likely be denigrated as “inappropriate” based solely on their idiosyncracy within surrounding architectural context, though they, for the most part, seem to function well on both pragmatic and aesthetic levels (the aesthetic being 100% subjective, I fully admit). But I would never characterize them as “appropriate” or “inappropriate”, and shudder at those terms. Brick may very well be an economical and durable solution that matches older buildings around new ballparks, but “appropriate”? Nope, just familiar. I venture that concrete, titanium, or even lime jello are no less “appropriate” than the brick, just less obvious, less aesthetically comfortable or homogeneous, or more costly, and hence, more readily dismissable as “inappropriate”. Both of us know full well that architecture is not just about “fitting in”, but about invention as well as about function, and about, most of all, imagination. Baseball stadia are not, and should not be, exempt from these criteria. It seems to this party that most of the invention in stadium design these days is in the engineering and even the urbanism, but not in the architecture. This, to me, is a shame – any stadium is a public and potentially magnificent building, by default. They should not be so just because an outfield is “quirky”.

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