Is Bjarke Ingels Just Trolling Us Now?

Twitter reactions to BIG’s Washington Redskins stadium range from dismay to disbelief. Is it a BIG flop?

On Sunday’s 60 Minutes segment about his work, serial soundbite machine Bjarke Ingels unveiled a model for the forthcoming Washington Redskins stadium. The curvaceous design features a semi-transparent rain screen, spiral of ramps along the perimeter, oh, and a giant moat traversed by pedestrian bridges. Yes, BIG has reprised a Medieval defense mechanism.


The public swiftly mocked and lampooned the design for its out-of-touch moat, dated rollerbladers, and depiction of rock climbers repelling down the building’s edifice, calling it “jellyfish barf,” an “elegant bedpan,” a “convenient piss ditch”—and the zingers are sure to keep coming.

Some people took jabs at Redskins owner Dan Snyder, voted “The Most Hated” owner by Sports Illustrated:

Others poked fun at the Redskins’ on-field performance:

Old-school architecture fans might appreciate the nod to Tampa’s now-demolished stadium:

Meanwhile, someone points out that football is a winter sport. While the average temperature in D.C. in September is 70 degrees, it’s typically in the 30s from December through February. Perhaps the moat turns into a skating rink? Having the water feature could open it up for year-round use, the architects say.

All disses about the architectural design aside, what the football team ought to reconsider is a new name (more on the racism of some American sports teams here):


But amidst all the name calling, one thing’s for certain: many more people are talking about architecture, which is a good thing.

And not everyone is quick to take aim at BIG’s design:

So far, we’ve seen one rendering and a teensy architectural model, which is far from a fleshed-out concept. It’s difficult to judge the full stadium’s merits on that alone:

Ingels is a notorious showman and very gifted self-promoter, which makes you wonder if the firm is trolling us all through its outlandish rendering. I bet it’s getting a kick out of the entire conversation. “The more you are up to something interesting, the more it’s going to inspire praise and criticism,” he tells Safer during the 60 Minutes profile. “We have a fair amount of sunshine and the opposite, and I think if you would take all that to heart you wouldn’t be able to draw a line or lay a brick.”

We’ll update you when more design details emerge.


About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.