Tribute to sports arena architect with a social conscience


Fernando Vazquez, the 59-year-old architect who designed sports arenas across the USA including the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium bit also took on community projects has died.

He had been admitted to a Santa Monica hospital with stomach cancer.

, Vazquez was instrumental in the renovation of Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley, and the construction of the University of Southern California’s Galen Center basketball arena.


The native of Uruguay frequently accepted socially oriented jobs, such as the El Centro del Pueblo neighborhood centre and a parenthood advice facility in Los Angeles.

He also designed the Bikestation in Long Beach, where pedalling commuters can store their bicycles and get minor repairs to their bikes.

In addition, Vazquez helped found KFX Design, a Tokyo firm which develops  retail, restaurants and housing projects.

“He was always working,” said architect Greg Baker, a colleague at HNTB, the architecture firm where Vazquez had been a design director since 2003. “He once told me that his idea of a vacation was going down to the lobby for a New York Times.”

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