Phoenix Convention Center

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

  • Typologies

    Convention and Exhibition Centers

  • Building Activities

    Conferences & Expos

  • Services

    Architecture, Urban Design

  • Completion


CHALLENGE. In the ’70s and ’80s, when the Phoenix Civic Plaza opened and was eventually expanded, downtown Phoenix looked much different than today. Large public buildings and mixed-use developments did not exist. The vibrancy permeating today’s downtown was still years away.

The city of Phoenix desired something special when they began planning a new renovation and expansion of their convention center in 2002. They challenged us to integrate the building into the urban core, reflect the spirit of Phoenix and design a functional and sustainable building.

INNOVATION. The original convention center and its 1985 addition were placed on large plazas elevated five feet above the surrounding street level. As a result, the facility felt disconnected from the urban core of the city.

The new Phoenix Convention Center would change all that. The city’s urban edges and formal city street grids guided the urban planning of the replacement facility. With access on all four sides of the building, and with meeting spaces at street level, the building engages pedestrians from all directions.

  • The Phoenix Convention Center welcomed 279,061 delegates in 2017.

The Phoenix Convention Center’s design captures the intense colors and forms of the Southwestern expanse. Shading structures reach out and hang over public streets. Grooved stone stair towers, representing natural desert spires rising from the landscape, give pedestrians the sensation of walking into a canyon.

IMPACT. The facility has not only been symbolic of a city’s rise, it’s become a functional and desirable gathering space for Phoenix and the guests it hosts. Since the renovation, the Phoenix Convention Center’s revenue has increased 46%.

The thoughtful configuration of the building also makes it possible to sustainably accommodate nearly two million square feet of space in the urban core. In addition to water, energy and waste efficiency considerations, a Green Housekeeping Program has been a catalyst for educating convention center visitors on the merits of sustainability efforts.

The building itself is the finest I have had the pleasure of marketing.

Steve Moore / President & CEO of Visit Phoenix
Facts and Figures
LEED Certification
Square Feet
2.2 million
Best of 2007 Award
Southwest Contractor Magazine
Top 10 Convention Center
Business Review USA
Project Team
Connect with the designers

Michael Lockwood

Todd Voth