Best Sports/Entertainment: The University of Houston Fertitta Center
The University of Houston Fertitta Center
Owner: The University of Houston
Lead Design Firm: PGAL
General Contractor: Turner Construction Co.
Civil/Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore
MEP Engineer: AECOM
Plumbing and Fire Protection: Infrastructure Associates
In transforming the University of Houston Hofheinz Pavilion into the Fertitta Center for sports and entertainment, the team on the $55-million project gave a nod to history while keeping an eye toward the future.
The most unusual obstacle facing the team involved handling, disposing of and designing around the facility’s original construction materials. The 50-year-old structure required environmental hazard removal to demolish components for renovation. The project team addressed this health and safety issue through active planning and quick response whenever they identified hazardous materials.
Designed as a focal point for the campus, the renovated facility brings 15,700 sq ft of additional program space to the existing building’s footprint and includes 7,100 new seats. The new main entrance features a bronze statue honoring the late Roy Hofheinz, whose support funded the original Hofheinz Pavilion in 1969.
Keeping with the pavilion’s original design spirit, dedicated zones around the concourse offer fans uninterrupted views into the seating bowl.
To allow for visibility from outside the facility, the team replaced two heavy, opaque corner entries by adding 2,200 sq ft of glass curtain wall that creates a transparent glow during events.
The renovation more than doubles the permanent concession space and restroom fixtures and introduces a Hall of Fame Kids’ Zone and team store.
The reimagined center serves as one of the country’s elite Division 1 facilities, allowing university basketball programs to recruit, train and compete at the national level. The facility will also host concerts and other community events.