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CannonDesign's Baltimore basketball arena 'embraces movement' through design

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The design embraces movement – from tilted columns to the curved edges – reflecting the energy of the athletics activities
Roland Lemke, design principal at CannonDesign

The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in the US has completed work on its new Event Center, designed as one of the most advanced college basketball facilities in the country.

The all-in-one athletics venue is the new home of the UMBC Retrievers’ men’s and women’s basketball teams and women’s volleyball squad.

Designed by architects CannonDesign to be flexible and multi-purpose in nature, the stadium bowl has a capacity of 5,000. The court can also be configured to create 1,000 additional seats on the floor for concerts, ceremonies, trade shows and other cultural and public events.

Above the bowl, a dynamic hospitality space overlooks the main court and offers views of the university’s athletic’s precinct.

Located on the outer edge of the UMBC campus, the Event Center occupies a site that slopes nearly 30 feet from one side to the other. The building is gently embedded into the hill to reduce its scale, with the landscape gently sloping away on the south side. A dramatic overhang forms the entrance, and a shelter for passers-by.

The venue forms a key gateway to the wider precinct and has been designed with a shared architectural language to physically and visually connect it to the nearby UMBC stadium complex, residential communities and academic quarters.

“As an anchor for UMBC’s future, the Campus Event Center is both a destination and icon for the campus,” said Roland Lemke, design principal at CannonDesign. “The design embraces movement – from tilted columns to the curved edges – reflecting the energy of the athletics activities occurring within.”

The architects are known for their North American sports buildings, and recently completed work on a hub for recreational sports, wellness and civic engagement in St Louis and a transformable ice hockey arena in Laval, Quebec.

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The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in the US has completed work on its new Event Center, designed as one of the most advanced college basketball facilities in the country.
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