Project: Yankee Stadium Category: Restaurants or Sports / Entertainment
Opening Date: April 16th 2009 Square Footage: 37,000
Client Objectives: This design firm developed their principal themes in close collaboration with Yankees management, supporting the team’s branding objectives and building on the character of the new structure itself. Their design decisions focused on providing a unique sense of place, reflecting the dynamism of the game and creating an emotional bond with the patrons. Working with one of the most successful organizations in all of professional sports, their design goal was to reflect that proud heritage in a contemporary, sophisticated and luxurious context of distinctive design elements. Opened in April 2009, the Legends Suite Club, Legends Suite Dugout Lounges, NYY Steak dining room and Yankee Stadium Banquet and Conference Center demonstrate the Yankees’ unwavering commitment to quality in the accomplishment of those objectives.
Design Program: Offering premium amenities to Legends Suite ticket holders, the ‘blue cube’ vestibules that provide a dramatic entry experience are constructed of custom-laminated glass panels’ tinted Yankee blue and bearing a pattern of repeated team logos. The designers used the interlocking ‘NY’, the most recognizable insignia in sports, in diverse graphic treatments here – incised in glass, jet-cut in lacquer screens housing internally lit memorabilia vitrines, and both embossed and debossed in collage panels of stained wood, leather and lacquer.
The signature Yankee blue is employed in diverse materials also – the acid-etched mirror on the bar’s back wall, the backlit textured resin panel on its front and the top’s exquisite marble, hand-selected in Italy. Up lit and down lit, split face Carrera marble mosaic clads the huge round columns.
This firm designed the custom carpet tile, which is combined with wood-look porcelain tile to introduce welcoming warmth. In addition, like the stainless steel hardware and details, the flooring and the leather upholstery on genuine Brno chairs provide the extreme durability and ease of maintenance the designers ensured throughout all the spaces, to stand up to high traffic volumes and the enthusiasm of some of the most passionate fans in sport.
The Legends Suite Dugout Lounges are private clubs located behind the Legends Suite seats along the first- and third- base lines. The polished concrete flooring and exposed galvanized steel decking of the seating above contribute to a ‘stadium insider’ feeling. That decking, by precluding the use of recessing lighting, also impelled the design of a complex illumination scheme that adds to the remarkable feeling of intimacy. Wall sconces provide subtle up lighting while invisibly mounted bottle display shelves in white and blue are internally lit, as are the cylindrical high top cocktail tables. Below its silver grey resin top, the backlit bar front’s striped acrylic panel alludes to the most famous uniform design in sports history. Similarly, the swooping shape carved into the polished plaster feature wall behind the back bar makes a tongue-in-cheek subtle reference to a curve ball.
However, the most powerful contribution to the sense of connection with the Yankees arises from eye-to-eye views of several baseball legends. The luminous blue-painted entry corridor features a huge backlit installation of the famous 1937 image of power hitter Lou Gehrig checking out five baseball bats. Inside, photos of five more Yankee heroes back the drink rails: pitcher Red Ruffing, second baseman Joe Gordon, World Series record holding catcher Bill Dickey, power slugger Charlie Keller, and that heroic batsman, Joe DiMaggio, best known for his yet-unbroken 56-game hitting streak. The famous five are seen perched together in the American League dugout at the All-Star Game in Detroit, July 8, 1941.
NYY Steak offers a refined dining experience. Patrons dine in the presence of the greats, surrounded by walls panelled with bronze mirrors acid-etched with autographs of extraordinary contributors to the team’s history from the Hall of Famers to inspirational leaders, including George Steinbrenner.
Set off by flooring in limestone and two tones of oak, custom-designed, generously-scaled club style dining chairs in Yankee blue leather surround diamond book-matched Mozambique veneer table tops. That veneer also appears on nearby walls, horizontally slatted in feature locations, such as flanking the open kitchen.
Visible from the elevator lobby, a huge wall of finely detailed custom cabinetry backing the granite topped bar houses the temperature-controlled storage for the restaurant’s extensive wine selection. A lobby knife display is a reminder that NYY Steak regulars get their own custom-made, engraved Laguiole cutlery to use whenever they visit.
In addition to the great privilege and responsibility of working with the extraordinary Yankee leadership, this design team was excited and moved by the commitment of the many vendors and trades people on the project, all of whom were proud to contribute to a new piece of American history.