Fairfield varsity reveals design of new arena


Convocation Center design by University of Fairfield Image: Centerbrook Architects Planners / UV Fairfield

The design for a new multifunctional on-campus arena – Convocation Center – was revealed by the Fairfield University in Connecticut (US).

The 3,500-capacity arena has been designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners. The facility will serve as home for the Fairfield basketball and volleyball teams. It will also host other bigger on-campus events, concerts and commencements.

The Stag Club will be the highlight of the venue and will offer premium seating for 150 spectators. The lower bowl will be so designed as to accommodate 2,400 supporters while a second deck will hold around 1,100 fans.

The design has been so crafted that it provides unhindered views from the concourse on both levels. Its 85,000ft2 also houses locker rooms, a film room, lounge, training rooms, staff offices, and numerous support spaces.
Centerbrook Principal Jim Childress commented, “We’re really excited about helping make attending events here a wonderful experience. The two tiers of close-in seating bring everyone together for games, events, and convocation. The building will immerse visitors in the energy and vitality of the university.”

The Convocation Center will be built at an estimated expense of $45 million. The design is modern yet contextual. The Center’s entrance will be transparent so that the interior of the venue can be seen when visitors make entry.

Ample glass facilitates the entry of natural light from all three sides of the arena. The glass highlights the brick façade which blends with the campus palate. The curved roof acknowledges the current Alumni Hall and many mid-century arenas.

The Convocation Center will come up in lieu of the 2,500-seat Alumni Hall. The Hall has been hosting campus events since 1959 and has also played host to Fairfield athletics. Following its demolition, the new venue’s scheduled construction will begin in the spring of 2020 and will take 18-24 months to complete.

Centerbrook had completed the Bellarmine Gallery of the Fairfield University Art Museum in 2010. Since then, this is the first task for Fairfield for the group of architects.

Presently, the firm has four active projects on in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and the Convocation Center work is one among them. The other projects in the firm’s kitty are – Greenwich Country Day School, the new Discovery Center for Mill River Park Collaborative in Stamford, and an expansion and renovation of The Basilica of St John the Evangelist rectory, also in Stamford.

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