Georgia Tech University McCamish Pavilion
Architecture, Interior Design
CHALLENGE. Calling Georgia Tech’s overhaul of Alexander Memorial Coliseum a renovation would be an understatement. Opened in 1956, the facility and its freestanding dome became an iconic part of the university’s urban campus. Because of its historical significance and the strength of the original steel ribs supporting its roof, Georgia Tech challenged our team to design an entirely new, state-of-the-art facility underneath the familiar dome.
INNOVATION. The $50-million project began by carving out the old interior space, leaving nothing but the roof, 32 steel ribs and a foundation for the new home of Yellow Jackets basketball. Where the coliseum’s circular seating bowl once stood, a rectangular bowl with a new upper deck emerged. The new configuration adds extra capacity and brings all 8,600 seats closer to court, resulting in one of the loudest and most intimate environments in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The arena footprint expanded by roughly 30,000 square feet, making room for new hospitality areas and larger concourses. On entering McCamish Pavilion, fans are treated to an expansive new lobby that gives way to the seating bowl. Walls that once separated the concourse from the bowl of the old structure are no more, creating sightlines to the Yellow Jackets’ hardwood court from every point in the concourse.
IMPACT. McCamish Pavilion preserves the character of a Georgia Tech landmark while creating the excitement of a modern college basketball experience. Examples of this juxtaposition abound in the arena. The arena’s steel ribs – refurbished and full of charm – are still exposed. A few feet away from them is a state-of-the-art lighting system, part of the project’s $4 million in audio/visual improvements, that creates a theater-like feel to games similar to Madison Square Garden. Georgia Tech’s new home for basketball now measures up with its ACC peers and then some.
Georgia Tech has gone for a big-time look, and by all accounts has achieved that goal.Andrew Jones / Fox Sports South
Facts and Figures
- Seating capacity
- Project cost
- $50 million
- Facility size
- 214,551 square feet
- LEED Certification