June 12, 2012
HOUSTON - Plans for the new University of Houston Football stadium took a major step forward Tuesday with the hiring of PageSoutherlandPage/DLR Group as the facility's architects, Houston Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades announced.
DLR Group has designed major renovations for some of the nation's premier college football stadiums, including Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Nebraska's Memorial Stadium. In a recent CBS Sports poll, the top college stadiums were listed with both Florida and Nebraska ranked among the top 10 nationally.
PageSoutherlandPage has worked with the University of Houston System for years on the main campus as well as the Downtown, Sugar Land and Victoria locations. The award-winning firm is the current designer of the new West Dining Hall and the Cougar Place Replacement/Sophomore Housing. PageSoutherlandPage also was the architect for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, home of Houston Swimming and Diving. The firm currently has more than a dozen UH graduates in its Houston office, including Principal Arturo Chavez.
"As we continue to move forward on our new football stadium, we are excited to welcome the architectural firms of PageSoutherlandPage and DLR Group onto our team. PageSoutherlandPage has years of experience in working with the University and has designed outstanding facilities on campus. DLR Group is well respected nationally with work on some of the nation's premier collegiate stadiums,. Their attention to detail and commitment to excellence are illustrated throughout their various collegiate athletics projects," Rhoades said. "The new stadium will become a centerpiece of our campus, and we look forward to working with these two outstanding firms in completing a vision that our fans, University community and student-athletes will enjoy with great pride."
For the Houston Football Stadium, PageSoutherlandPage will be led by Principal in Charge Jeffrey Bricker, Design Principal in Charge Lawrence Speck and Senior Designer David Quenemoen. DLR Group will be led by Stadium Project Manager Don Barnum and Lead Stadium Designer Greg Garlock.
The new football stadium - to be built on the site of the current Robertson Stadium following the 2012 season - is expected to cost around $105 million. Plans call for the new facility to hold 40,000 fans with Phase II expansion designs that could increase that total to 60,000.
Plans call for luxury suites, loge box seating, comfortable club seating and other premium seating options. The stadium will boast home and visiting team locker room facilities, space for Sports Medicine and Equipment Operations and academic/meeting spaces covering approximately 20,000 square feet.
Besides serving as the Cougar Football program's home, the facility will service the entire campus and be capable of supporting student activities as well as outside events year-round.
To help fans as they battle through typical hot Houston summers, the stadium will maximize shading areas and be designed to take advantage of air flow moving through the facility.
"This building and its functions will attract more visitors to the University of Houston campus - from loyal alumni and major donors to neighborhood kids with collegiate dreams - than any other," Speck said. "It will create a critical outreach to the community and a conspicuous window for Houstonians into their primary hometown academic institution."
"We have been following the University of Houston for several years and are excited about the size and scope of this project," Barnum said. "When you watch college football on television, the broadcasts always have a signature shot. With this facility, we envision a shot that pans across the stadium and focuses on the skyline of Houston, linking the city with the stadium for the fans watching the game across the world."
"This project isn't about replacing a stadium with a more modern facility; it's about creating a venue that showcases the football team's on-field accomplishments while providing a spectacular view of the downtown skyline in the background. As Houstonians, we've seen the University of Houston become a bigger part of what makes the city a great place to live, work and, now, receive a Tier One education," Bricker said. "We want the University to be recognized for the outstanding institution that it is. It's a very exciting project with so much potential, and we are excited to work with the University and its Athletics Department."
Working closely with athletics and University administrators at Florida, DLR Group successfully added a skybox addition to offer professional sports amenities that blended with the local campus architecture. The Skybox expansion resulted in 2,880 new club seats, 28 renovated existing suites, a new press/coaches level and associated support functions.
At the University of Nebraska, DLR Group maintained the integrity of the original 1923 stadium structure while creating a dramatic campus gateway presence. A major expansion to the west side of Memorial Stadium included concourse expansions, new skybox suites, an expanded press box and broadcast media facility, indoor premium seating, food and beverage facilities, event management work areas and various support space improvements.
DLR Group has also designed for LSU's Alex Box Stadium (baseball), Oregon's PK Park (baseball), Nebraska's PinnacleBank Arena (men's and women's basketball), Hawks Field at Haymarket Park (Nebraska baseball), Medlar Field at Lubrano Park (Penn State baseball) and Charlotte's 49ers Stadium (football). Recently, the University of Minnesota selected the company to design its new baseball stadium.
PageSoutherlandPage was founded in Austin in 1898 and opened its Houston office in 1973. Today, it is an international architecture and engineering firm with more than 425 professionals. Their projects have been recognized with more than 200 design awards in the last decade alone.
Among the Houston office's most notable projects are the architecture for Discovery Green, the new FBI building, the adjacent Methodist West Houston Hospital and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus on Interstate 10, the Harris County Jury Plaza and the MD Anderson Cancer Center Pickens Academic Tower as well as major projects for ExxonMobil and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) worldwide.
PageSoutherlandPage was honored by the Texas Society of Architects as its 2009 Texas Architecture Firm of the Year and by the American Institute of Architects as the 2007 Houston Firm of the Year.
ABOUT DLR GROUP
DLR Group is an interdisciplinary design firm providing architecture, engineering, planning and interior design from offices coast-to-coast and in China. Its promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge and is an initial signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment.