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143 - U.S. Century Bank Arena

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  • Gould Evans
  • The arena is the largest event center and indoor gathering space on the university campus. Built in the 1980’s at a minimal cost, its purpose was to provide a home for its emerging basketball program. The building was constructed as a bare bones facility with no pre-function space. Recently, the basketball program has expanded, dictating the need for a reinvention and expansion of the existing structure. The original building is composed of a blue metal-clad façade with white stucco stairs to either side. The design of the expansion includes demolition of the existing façade and 11,800 sf of new space.

    Our goal for the addition was to design a pre-function space operating as a lobby, concession space, and multipurpose room to accommodate event gatherings. More importantly, we were interested in designing a new facade that would blur the line between outdoor and indoor event spaces.

    A parking garage to the north provides parking for commuters, residents, and events. The growing campus is accommodating student housing to the south. A new 50,000 sf plaza is designed to accommodate varying scales of pre-ceremony functions. This new outdoor space provides a north/south pedestrian link and allows for large campus gatherings in front of the expansion. The new two-story lobby space includes a glass curtain wall that maintains transparency. A perforated metal screen in front of the glass curtain wall reduces heat gain and doubles as a dynamic signage structure. The new addition accommodates private suites looking over the basketball court and event space. During games, glass doors raise and fold allowing a seamless environment between the court, the seating, and the new suites, which double as classrooms and meeting rooms during non-events.

    The building addition and plaza provide a new image for the arena and mark the facility as a destination on campus.

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