PPG Paints Arena, formerly known as CONSOL Energy Center, is a true reflection of a city, a team and its fans. The design of the arena is influenced and shaped by many different factors, including the site, fans and Pittsburgh’s vibrant urban condition. Over the last decade, Populous has helped give new definition to the city of Pittsburgh. Each of the three professional sports buildings the firm has designed – PNC Park, Heinz Field and now PPG Paints Arena – showcases the beauty and fortitude of what still is known as the “Steel City.”
At PPG Paints Arena, an expansive glass wall, which spans more than 420 feet along Washington Place, creates a dramatic marker in Pittsburgh’s night sky and offers spectacular views of the downtown skyline. Exterior glass, along with brick and metal panel help the arena set contextually within its neighborhood and tie to Pennsylvania heritage. Through this thoughtful use of materials, Populous’ design aimed to embrace the city. Exterior materials are distinct to the Pennsylvania region, yet consciously different than that of the nearby church to create a unique, modern architectural experience. A glazed circulation spine creates a striking architectural element that celebrates people, movement and activity while injecting a dramatic marker into the night skyline.
And just as Pittsburgh has gone through a stunning transformation from a 20th century industrial center to a 21st century leader in technology and professional services, the arena looks to the future. The Pittsburgh Penguins made their core market strategy to align the Penguins brand with innovation and a young, progressive fan demographic in their new home. Technology and experiential design played a key role in this. The All-Time Team Celebration is a technologically innovative fan experience designed to offer a dynamic first impression to the arena. Fans can engage with three life-like interactive Stanley Cups and each of the Penguins all-time inductees through the use of touch screens and highly sophisticated graphic interfaces. Cutting-edge augmented reality technology is showcased in the “Put Your Game Face On” interactive experience in which fans can manipulate four fully interactive magic mirrors to playfully transform themselves in a number of fun and entertaining ways. Even young hockey fans are able to participate in the interactive experience in a dedicated kid zone.
Populous was able to bring the Penguin’s brand story to life while enhancing the fan experience. The interactive experiences in PPG Paints Arena give fans the ability to not only be influenced by their surroundings, but to individually shape their personal venue experience as a valuable and lasting memory.