RUPP Arena Reinvention by NBBJ

The RUPP Arena opened its doors to the public in 1976 and has grown to be a pivotal element in the Lexington downtown.

Built in an era when modernist architecture was booming, the design portrayed purity in its formal composition with the use of steel cladding for the main hall. The cream all-round exterior painting drove further the modernist abstraction ideals.

Arch2o-RUPP Arena Reinvention NBBJ (2)

Courtesy of NBBJ

With times haven changed , the modernist design falls short of contemporary openness and the need for buildings to interact with users.

NBBJ has therefore be consulted to propose a facelift to the iconic sport centre. The project is expected to provide contemporary amenities and better connect the arena to the city making it a modern reference sport venue .

Arch2o-RUPP Arena Reinvention NBBJ (9)

Courtesy of NBBJ

The proposed design showcases a strong use of transparent glass for exterior cladding portraying the design to open up the arena to the city and users. The new cladding will rise to about 40 feet providing the possibility for passerbys to get a glimpse of happenings in the arena.

Arch2o-RUPP Arena Reinvention NBBJ (1)

Courtesy of NBBJ

In line with this “opening up”to the city major works will touch mostly the image of the centre as well as its place in the city. Thus place making principles will play a major role .The design will seek to ensure activity around the centre via a large urban plaza on the east side,a gorge on the north side and an urban edge on the south side that will  propel future downtown development.

 By Hassan Mohammed Yakubu

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