RSS
TwitterFacebookGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn

Side Story: CSU’s Convocation Center

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

April 2009

Brick

Case Study
Chicago State University’s
Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center

brick
Photo copyright 2008 Hedrich Blessing

Chicago State University (CSU) is a fully accredited public, urban institution located on 161 acres in a residential community on the south side of Chicago, 12 miles from the Loop. The current student enrollment is nearly 7,200.

The 160,000-square-foot Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center at CSU was designed as a multi-functional facility, primarily seating 6,000 spectators for intercollegiate athletic events or 7,000 for convocations and educational and entertainment events. The main floor is designed for a full NCAA-standard basketball court, or two cross courts of basketball/volleyball. The facility also accommodates a stage for non-athletic events. Athletic department offices, concession areas, a lobby, ticket booths, an athletic training center, dressing rooms, lockers, and storage and service areas support the multiple functions of the center.

Overall goals
The University’s Strategic Plan, developed in 1999–2000, called for a new Convocation Center to meet not only the university’s needs but also regional cultural needs. The facility would be available for community use and needed to be flexible to accommodate multiple kinds of events. CSU also wanted a unique, exciting building that fit within the context of the existing campus.

Existing site conditions
The site selected for the Convocation Center is located immediately south of the existing Athletic and P.E. Center, east of the major academic parking lots. Accounting for the diversity of academic, athletic and entertainment programs, the need for 600 spaces to serve Convocation Center functions was satisfied by higher utilization of the existing lots, particularly in the evening. Locating the Convocation Center on the south side of the campus had four distinct benefits:

  • It facilitates interaction with the adjacent Dickens Athletic and P.E Center
  • The building’s massing and scale both complement and reinforce the eastern edge of the campus
  • Its location serves to identify its presence from the adjacent Interstate 90/94, assisting in marketing its potential for community use
  • Siting it there preserved heavily landscaped areas elsewhere on the campus.

Due to its location in an urban area, there are multiple transportation modes serving CSU. A major transit line and a number of bus routes have stops near or on the campus. This contributes to the Convocation Center’s ability to serve the surrounding community effectively. The site selected for the Convocation Center completes the campus master plan, which is based on a network of closely interrelated structures each directly accessible to parking. Outdoor athletic facilities are located immediately south of the center, including new tennis courts replacing those previously located on the Convocation Center site.

Unique design
Building volume, form and height were derived from programmatic (rational) influences. Building materials, texture and color, glass versus solid, and light versus shadow (intuitive) elements combine to provide a facility fully contextual in its campus setting and uniquely capable of introducing natural daylight into its interior when appropriate. Deeply recessed expanses of glass at all four corners permit natural light to spill into the arena without the problems created by direct sunlight.

Masonry’s role
Similar masonry was carefully selected in an effort to integrate the new facility into the campus context. The use of brick also provides scale and warmth to an otherwise monumental building. On a field of Anaconda colored brick, a pattern composed in Ironstone Smooth and Walnut Velour adds visual interest. Soldier courses and a dotting of bricks laid in relief create texture.

Large clear spans require a structure of significant depth. This depth is expressed on the exterior in a lightweight metal enclosure adding a powerful and appropriately scaled “top” to the building. Visitors enter at grade through a large glass exposure lobby. The same brick used on the exterior is applied to the interior of the lobby, creating a unique space that runs the entire length of the center, accommodating large group interaction before and after events and during intermissions.

Masonry-clad cylindrical forms at either end of the building create a striking profile and house high-capacity stairs. Spectators enter the building at the midway point of the seating array and can take these stairs up or down to their seat location. The cylinders extend all the way around to the interior, bringing the masonry inside the arena. Lockers, the athletic training center, press/conference space, offices, equipment storage and the loading dock are located on the same level as the arena floor, thereby making access direct and convenient. The arena serves as the competition venue for the CSU Intercollegiate Basketball and Volleyball Programs. It can be quickly converted to a variety of non-athletic events including student assemblies, lectures, concerts, weddings, banquets and conferences. Furthermore, the center will host Olympic exhibition basketball games if Chicago wins the 2016 bid.

PROJECT SUMMARY
The Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center at Chicago State University was designed as a multi-functional facility primarily seating 6,000 spectators for intercollegiate athletic events but also accommodating 7,000 seats for convocations and other events.

The 160,000 SF building is sited adjacent to an existing athletic facility, and similar masonry was carefully selected in an effort to integrate the new facility into the campus context. The project team’s conviction from the outset was to create a design that fits in as opposed to stands out. Furthermore, the use of brick also provides scale and warmth to an otherwise monumental building.

On a field of “Anaconda” colored brick, a pattern composed in “Ironstone Smooth” and “Walnut Velour” adds visual interest. Soldier courses and a dotting of bricks laid in relief create texture. A large glass exposure lobby interjects transparency into the masonry, and an overhang metal roof adds a contemporary accent. The brick is carried through to the interior of the lobby, creating a unique space that can be used for pre-game activities and receptions.

Two spiral staircases at each end of the building are encased in brick cylinders that create a striking part of the building’s profile and are also visible from within the arena.

PROJECT TEAM
Owner: Illinois Capital Development Board, Springfield, IL
Client: Chicago State University, Chicago, IL
Design Architect: Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, Chicago, IL
Architect of Record: William E. Brazley & Associates, Ltd., Matteson, IL
MEP Engineer: Environmental Systems Design, Inc., Chicago, IL
Structural Engineering: Tylk Gustafson Reckers Wilson Andrews, LLC, Chicago, IL
Civil Engineer: Landmark Engineering Corporation, Palos Hills, IL
Cost Consulting: Construction Cost Systems, Inc., Oakbrook Terrace, IL
General Contractor: Castle Construction Corporation, Markham, IL
Masonry Contractor:  G. A. G. Masonry, Inc., Chicago, IL

Founded in 1925, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl is a Chicago-based architecture, planning and interior design firm specializing in Higher Education, Healthcare, Office / Corporate, and Retail / Mixed-Use projects. The firm has been recognized with over 125 regional and national awards. For further information, please contact Nicole Fisher at 312.565.1800 or nfisher@lshchicago.com. Visit us on the web at www.lshdesign.com.


Related Posts

  • 44
    April 2009 Brick Bonded by Brick Pioneering facility combines 18 colleges and universities under one roof By Douglas J. Ogurek, LEED AP (all images) University Center of Lake County Photo copyright Timothy Hursley • Floor plans courtesy Legat Architects Six years ago, the University Center of Lake County, a partnership between 18 Illinois colleges and…
    Tags: brick, center, university, facility, masonry, design
  • 31
    September 2009 Education & Certifications Green Brick Education BIA members attain “Green Brick Specialist” designation The Brick Industry Association (BIA) announced that 70 percent of its eligible members passed the industry’s first-ever online training program, “Sustainability/Green Building Design and Brick.” With this designation, almost 1,000 members’ employees will be eligible to deliver the association’s accredited…
    Tags: brick, building, design
  • 30
    March 2013 Sustainability Sustainable Masonry Solutions: The Key to Thermal Mass Solutions By Maria Viteri One of the biggest challenges for facility managers is operating a building for which decisions already have been made during the design phase. Yet, there is good news as more building owners and facility managers become part of the integrated…
    Tags: building, masonry, design
  • 30
    April 2014 2013 Changes in The Masonry Code The most recent addition of the Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry Structures (TMS 402-13/ACI 530-13/ASCE 5-13) has been out since the fall of 2013. Are you aware of the changes? By Paul Curtis Since the late-1980s, the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) has been meeting…
    Tags: masonry, design

MASONRY MAGAZINE VIDEO NEWS

Zachary Zuldema 1st Place (2nd Year) Winner Interview at the World of Concrete

Zachary Zuldema 1st Place (2nd Year) Winner Interview at the World of Concrete

Bill Dentinger 2015 Inductee MCAA Hall of Fame

Bill Dentinger 2015 Inductee MCAA Hall of Fame

John Smith, Jr.

John Smith, Jr. receives the 2015 MCAA C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award

2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel On The Block Winner

2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel On The Block Winner

Daniel Furr 1st Place Winner

Daniel Furr 1st Place Winner (First Year), Masonry Skills Challenge

Synpro Products

Masonry Magazine Video News Interview: Michael Goyne

Hydro Mobile Inc

Interview with Kevin O'Shea of Hydro Mobile, Inc.

Interview with Mark Kemp – Chairman, MCAA

Interview with Masonry Contractors Association of America Chairman, Mark Kemp

Mortar Net Solutions

Interview with Steve Fechino from Mortar Net Solutions

Pullman Ermator

Interview with Lyndon Kelsey of Pullman Ermator

Keene Building Products

Interview with Jim O'Neill of Keene Building Products