Duke Energy Convention Center Expansion and Renovation

Cincinnati, Ohio

Project Size:

New area: 220,000 square feetRenovated area: 550,000 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2006


Civic Design, Convention Center Design

Associate Architect:

GBBN Architects, Inc.

CR Architecture & Design


Duke Energy Center: Hybrid Design

Auditoria, 9/1/06

Selected Awards

2006 AIA Cincinnati

Collaborative Category, Honor Award

2006 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region

Citation Award

2005 AIA Seattle Chapter

Commendation Award

In support of substantial program expansion, this project set out to significantly improve the existing three-floor circulation system, energize the urban context, and create a city-scaled gateway on the western edge of downtown Cincinnati.

The new center crosses two city blocks and includes additional exhibition, meeting room, and ballroom space, as well as new circulation and lobbies with glass walls that provide expansive views of the skyline and the Ohio River.

The expanded facility occupies a corner of the primary western entry into downtown. To embellish its presence at the threshold to the urban core, the west facade integrates public art and architecture with a series of metal panels set at angles to form the word “Cincinnati” in 50-foot tall letters.  From a city-scale perspective, the glistening letters form an iconic gesture.  From within the public spaces of the facility, the piece is perceived in abstracted increments—imparting spatially interactivity in the user experience.

Design of the 40,000 square-foot grand ballroom blurs the distinction between ceiling and wall, creating a distinctive, enveloping atmosphere of movement, tapestry and filtered light.  A series of swirling copper and bronze fabric panels and integrated lighting induces a dramatic spatial mood while maintaining the highest standards in room functionality and event flexibility.