Architects join arena team


Project: The Kansas City firm of Ellerbe Becket is part of the effort to replace Cole Field House with a $90 million, 17,000-seat facility.

July 08, 1999|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

FOR MORE than a decade, the architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket has been a leader in the design of sports arenas for professional and collegiate basketball and hockey teams, including the MCI Center in Washington, the First Union Center in Philadelphia and the Fleet Center in Boston.

Now it's part of the team that has been commissioned to design a $90 million, 17,000-seat arena to replace Cole Field House at the University of Maryland's College Park campus.

The Kansas City, Mo., office of Ellerbe Becket is working with Design Collective of Baltimore to design the arena, which will be used primarily for men's and women's basketball and campus events.

The arena will be the first major building in the university's North Campus, and its hilltop location will provide views of the central campus. It will contain a seating section for students, 16 private suites and an intimate "seating bowl" designed to promote a "festive college basketball atmosphere." It will have more restrooms and concessions than Cole Field House does, and a large team store.

"Our mandate is to retain all the glory and tradition of Cole Field House, while offering modern amenities to Terps fans," said Brad Clark, lead designer for Ellerbe Becket. Clark also was the lead designer for MCI Center, home of Washington's National Basketball Association Wizards and Women's National Basketball Association Mystics.

The new building will include an academic support and career development center, wrestling and weight training facilities, offices and locker rooms for other intercollegiate sports, as well as a large practice gym.

The arena is being planned and built by the University of Maryland and the Maryland Stadium Authority. If funds can be raised in time, construction will begin in the summer of 2000 and be complete by the summer of 2002.

Ed Kohls, a principal of Design Collective, said his firm has many University of Maryland School of Architecture graduates, who have a strong interest in continuing the high quality of architectural design and campus planning promoted on the College Park campus.

"This is a great partnership," he said of the design team. "We assembled a team representing Ellerbe Becket's national sports experience and combined it with Design Collective's academic experience."

Maryland-based firms hired for major projects

HLM Design of Bethesda and Robert A. M. Stern Architects of New York have been hired to design Clark Hall, an $18 million, 60,000-square-foot home for the Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Biomedical Engineering. Construction is expected to begin in December and be complete by May 2001.

The building will be named after A. James Clark, the head of Clark Enterprises Inc. of Bethesda and a Hopkins trustee emeritus who gave $10 million to construction of the building and operation of the institute. The Whitaker Foundation of Rosslyn, Va., gave $17 million for the same purposes. The university has set a goal of raising $34 million to cover construction costs and operation of the institute through 2006.

Gant Hart Brunnett Architects of Baltimore has been commissioned to prepare plans for the rehabilitation of the Astor Court apartments at 25th and St. Paul streets in Baltimore, which will include 48 apartments, public rooms and retail spaces at street level. MLR Development, headed by Michael and Leslie Rock, is the developer.

Mahan Rykiel Associates, a landscape architecture firm based in Baltimore, has won a competition to design a $170 million, mixed-use development called Efanor in Matozinhos, Portugal.

The project involves the rehabilitation of an old factory site into a residential community with office and retail space. Mahan Rykiel teamed with Antonio Santos Machado Architects of Lisbon.

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