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It’s not every day that architects and pro athletes get equal airtime on national TV, but they do in a recent spot from ESPN.
The primetime broadcast of the March 5 National Hockey League game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks on ABC and ESPN+ opened with a documentary short that features Weitzman’s Ali Rahim along with two of the teams’ star players, the Flyers’ Claude Giroux and Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane. Alluding to setbacks that the Flyers and Blackhawks have experienced in recent seasons, the spot pays tribute to the exhilaration in overcoming adversity. In the pursuit of excellence, Rahim says, “there are always challenges.”
The theme is “cornerstones,” and Rahim, a professor of architecture who is the director of Weitzman’s MSD-AAD Program and a principal at Contemporary Architecture Practice (@cap_ny_sh), describes the range of emotions that accompany the practice of architecture, from designing to laying the cornerstone for a new building. Sean McDonough, the ESPN commentator for the broadcast, intones, “Giroux and Kane, cornerstones of glory days gone by for these two franchises, now pondering who will be the cornerstones of their future?”
Featured in the spot are a model and wireframe of two of the buildings that Rahim and his team at CAP are designing as part of the Lijia Smart Park Innovation Center West District in Chongqing, China, which is slated to begin construction later this year.
Describing his experience of the daylong shoot for the spot, Rahim likened the crew’s know-how with an arsenal of equipment and intimate knowledge of iconic films to the range of skills and experiences that architects bring to their work. “They make it look so easy,” he says.
The spot was directed by Scott Cikowski and produced by the creative team behind ESPN’s award-winning sports newsmagazine E:60.