Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA
If there’s one moment in 49ers history that fans cite the most, it’s “The Catch,” the iconic spiral pass from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark to win a trip to Superbowl XVI. But that’s just one of hundreds of memorable achievements of this NFL dynasty and the San Francisco team wanted a Hall of Fame Museum to showcase this legacy. Our goal was to create a space where fans could experience “The Catch,” both in the form of the curving, spiral path of the galleries, and in immersive exhibits celebrating the team.
The location of the new museum in Levi’s Stadium was convenient, but because it was partially underground and below the stadium seats, it presented restrictive height challenges. We took this complicated site and created a better experience by using the perceived restrictions as a design opportunity. Because the floor had to be raised in certain areas, it became the elevated circulation with better vantage points. Working below the stadium seating, we carved out exhibit niches enhanced by a sloped ceiling.
“The Catch” inspired the Heritage Gallery’s spiral circulation and curved walls throughout the space. The exhibits creatively immerse fans in the sights, sounds and excitement of this storied franchise including touchable life-sized replicas of the team’s Hall of Famers captured in reality; VR simulations of real games to test visitors’ athletic skills and the Parades Gallery featuring the Lombardi trophies. The team’s Flagship Store is a popular destination in itself.
The Museum also serves as a learning platform supporting STEAM initiatives and includes the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center, an interactive and flexible classroom facility supporting the team’s pioneering commitment to education. All exhibits were designed with this engagement in mind.
This is a special place. I think if you’re a 49ers fan, or a football fan or even just a sports fan, I think walking through this space is going to give you chills.Paraag Marathe, 49ers President