Anyone Got a Better Idea for the Astrodome?

ANYONE GOT A BETTER IDEA FOR THE ASTRODOME? The Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. might have passed over everyone else’s ideas about what to do with the Astrodome, but that doesn’t mean that no one would pick them: Thus, Architect’s Newspaper and YKK AP are sponsoring a Dome design competition to launch its new Southwest edition. The gist of the contest: A jury will award cash prizes to the 5 best ideas, which will be featured in the inaugural issue to debut November 6: “[W]e feel that the current proposal can only be made better by an infusion of fresh ideas. . . . Great aspirations and utopian schemes are welcome, as are feasible proposals that mesh with The New Dome Experience.” You’ve got to pay to play and register by September 17 to compete. [Arch Paper; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

16 Comment

  • Everyone seems to have an opinion, how many schemes and polls are they going to conduct relating to dome ideas! Typical bureaucracy how long this has been a topic and yet we still seem to be at step one. From most polls it appears the dome is here to stay, now just make a find a final decider and get it done.

  • Ummmmm…grammar?

  • I think what most people don’t understand is that this is it for the Dome, voters will decide the Dome’s fate in November. If the Proposition fails, the Dome will be torn down. No other plan (no matter how brilliant) matters.

  • I’ve already said before: indoor ski resort!

    how hard can it be?

  • I know. I was curious why AN decided the run their contest until after the results of it would be meaningless in the real world, but then I realized they’re supposed to announce the winners in their inaugural Southwest issue. So, while it’s a neat project, it seems more aimed at creating a stir to promote their new regional publication than actually affecting any real change.

  • the only thing that makes sense is to convert it into a mini storage with ground floor retail and food trucks in parking lot. Otherwise I say tear it down and build a residential high rise with 600 sf units starting at $1 million

  • This is a fun gimmick for this magazine or whatever, but none of it matters, at this point it’s convention space or bust. If the dome re imagination is voted down in November the dome will be torn down, period.

  • Benny, who says we can’t do both?!

  • It just occurred to me that the best use would be to turn the Astrodome into a giant Concentrating Solar Power plant – you know, the kind with all the mirrors pointed at a tower. Simply chop off the top, install the tower, and replace the seats with mirrors, and you’re done. A rough, napkin calculation says we should get over 2MW, enough to power almost 1,000 homes. Wikipedia says CSP costs $4/W, so about $9.5mil for the project. This would make the Astrodome a true symbol of the future while keeping the history mostly intact. Reliant energy could then promote next door Reliant Stadium as being 100% renewable powered all year.

    There was talk of turning it into a conference center with photovoltaic solar panels on the top, but converting it to CSP means much more power per square foot generated, especially if you use the stadium’s natural bowl shape (25% efficiency for dish-shaped CSP vs. 15% for regular solar panels).

  • If an architecture/developer decides to start specializing in sports stadium repurposing, I think they’ll make a fortune. It’s unbelievable how often we abandon these things and build new ones.

  • Leave the bare bones of the Astrodome and put a “park” in there that would allow tailgating and rodeo exhibits and attractions.

  • I like SFP’s idea. Make it a casino. They would make a killing during rodeo. The entire state of Louisiana would go bankrupt and Houston would finally have a revenue source to fix sidewalks everywhere!

  • For all you who say ‘Turn it into a casino’ let’s break down what you’re actually asking for…..
    You want the Rick Perry to call a special session specifically to legalize gambling. The legislature is not in session and won’t be until 2015. Then, these legislators have to vote for gambling in both houses (which hasn’t happened in say… ever for Texas).
    You guys/gals do realize you’re asking for an ACT OF CONGRESS to just get your idea started.
    Now that gambling is legal, a buyer has to BUY the dome from the county and spend lots of $ to make it a casino. Millions of capital just to get this place ready for people to occupy the building. And why exactly would they do this as opposed to putting their casino in Galveston, Kemah, downtown, the Woodlands, or on lake Conroe? Would the county just give Harrah’s the building? How many religious groups would campaign to unseat every county judge if they did that? Jeeze.
    THEN the rodeo and the Texans have to ok the plan. A plan that will compete with both of these entities for people and footprint.
    This all has to happen b/f November, btw.
    I mean, you might as well ask the Astrodome to become a unicorn farm.
    Why don’t you do everyone a favor and stop. Just stop.

  • Build an indoor ski/snowboard facility like the one in Dubai.

  • i thought it would be a natural proggression to make the dome a world class motorsports arena motorcross, stunts , tractor pulls of all sizes and catagories, flat trackers,atv racing xgame skating bicycle moto stunts shows sand drags even radio controled car racing this would be the worlds largest event in most catagories monster trucks… keep the other arenas for the ball sports spend very little compared to the many millions to make it something else just a couple million for building mechanics thanks steve o