Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli was selected to design the new $195 million DePaul University basketball arena in Chicago. Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the newly opened Theater School at DePaul University (see project) and the planned Wolf Point redevelopment along the Chicago River.
The design, a structure with a glass-walled topped with an undulating roof for 10,000-seat with spaces for restaurants, coffeehouses and retail shops along its perimeter, was recommended by a nine-person advisory board that included three representatives each from the authority, the city and DePaul. It was guided by three design experts.
The arena, also expected to host concerts, graduations and assemblies for conventions, will front on Cermak Road to give easy access to fans who choose to walk from a CTA Green Line station expected to open a couple of blocks to the west in late 2014.
City officials want to build the arena by late 2016 as the centerpiece of a planned McCormick Place entertainment district envisioned as having two additional hotels, restaurants and bars.
The design aims to dispel neighbors’ concerns that the arena would be a nondescript concrete box that does little to enliven the area, except for creating traffic jams and rowdiness on game days.