University of Washington Alaska Airlines Arena

Seattle, Washington

Project Size:

192,000 square feetSeating capacity: 10000 seats

Project Status:

Completed 2000

Selected Awards

2001 AIA

Washington Council Civic Design Merit Award

2000 Northwest Construction

Best Renovation/Restoration, Honorable Mention

The renovation of the Alaska Airlines Arena, a significant structure in the history of the University of Washington campus, creates a unique spectator-oriented facility through juxtaposition of new elements against the architectural heritage of the original pavilion.

The design stripped away the remains of previous renovations, exposing the essential character-defining elements of the 1927 building shell—ornate brick facade, steel roof trusses, and arched windows—to again emit natural light into the event space. View-obstructing columns were eliminated by inserting clear-span “super-trusses,” evoking structural drama as counterpoints to the historic architecture.

The seating bowl and building interiors are completely reconfigured. Organized by function, the ground floor is devoted to team support areas, the concourse level to public spaces, and the west end to offices for coaches and staff. New program spaces also include the Founder’s Club, a multi-purpose meeting and entertainment center; and the Husky Hall of Fame, which showcases the history and tradition of Husky athletics.