Georgia State University’s new Convocation Center doubles the arena it replaces and is expected to give a shot in the arm to a long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood. The new 200,000 sf multi-use venue in the Summerhill area of Atlanta is the new home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and will also be used for large-scale academic and community events.
With a seating capacity of up to 8,000, the facility provides users with world-class amenities, including a club room and suites for attendees and locker rooms, nursing, and sports medicine rooms for student athletes. The design concept, “A Window to the City,” includes elements offering visitors a heightened sense of awareness and connection to their community and deliberately turns its focus to the surrounding neighborhood and the larger city beyond.
The detailing of the primary cladding system, an insulated metal panel system over a steel frame, aimed to create a clean façade expression incorporating glazing, ventilation, and entry without compromising its inherent economy or the simplicity of its overall effect. The new facility includes the latest in lighting technology, acoustics, and building control systems. Wayfinding is integrated into the facility’s design, giving a sleek finish. Masonry and cement flooring make for easy maintenance and cleaning, while floor-to-ceiling glass windows welcome natural light and offer guests a visual connection to the downtown Atlanta skyline.
The design team worked with a Perkins&Will research group to model glare, views, and direct sunlight infiltration for each seat and the playing floor. This work allowed for dramatic city views without affecting the usability of the facility.
As a hosting site for the 1996 Olympic Games and later the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team, Summerhill was once a thriving and vibrant community that has since experienced years of neglect and isolation. The new Convocation Center will attract visitors to the area for numerous sporting and cultural events.
On the project team:
Owner: Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; Georgia State University
Design architect: Perkins&Will
Architect of record: The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM)
MEP engineer: CBRE, Heery
Structural engineer: Walter P Moore
General contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie
Civil Engineer & Landscape Architect: Kimley-Horn