Long before Stan Saplin was inducted into the New York City Sports Hall of Fame he was a legend in the world of New York City track and field. As a reporter Stan Saplin contributed numerous stories and retrospectives to the New York Times sports pages and in his role as Field Events Announcer he was the voice of The Millrose Games. In photos of Stan sharing the stage with sports celebrities like Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Grete Waitz, and Howard Cosell his humble demeanor belies the knowledge and authority that he brought to his work.
In memory of Stan Saplin his family made a generous donation to The Armory Foundation, New York City’s largest indoor track and field center. When the Armory’s Executive Director was considering appropriate ways to honor Stan Saplin’s career a dialogue ensued that centered on creating an intimate permanent memorial exhibit housed within an enclosed space that would become a home for Stan’s newspaper and media colleagues; a new take on the old reporters press box – a media center for today’s sports journalists.
The media center, located directly on the edge of the Armory’s 200-meter indoor track, was designed with a long glass wall and a square window as interfaces between the track and the enclosed room.
Initial concept work focused on exploring the primary characteristics of two spaces divided by a transparent boundary and a pierced wall. These optical openings implied a condition like that of a camera with the glass wall interface serving as lens or screen.
Investigations of screens as concealing and revealing devices gradually evolved into explorations of the contemporary experience of screens, their role as displays for digital content and the media of media.
In the built environment these ideas were realized as a floor pattern that ran parallel to the exterior track while shifting in configuration like on and off bits of digital information.