The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) has selected Pelli Clarke Pelli to design a 10,000-seat event center at McCormick Place in Chicago. Featuring a sweeping curved roof above four transparent sides, the building will be home to DePaul University’s basketball program, as well as an event center for large business meetings.
“We have designed a light, luminous event center that we hope will be a good neighbor and a dynamic expression of the events that it will house,” said Fred Clarke, FAIA, senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, in a statement. “Its gently arching roof, visible from surrounding buildings and streets, will tie architecture to the image of DePaul basketball and McCormick Place events.”
When soliciting proposals for the project, the MPEA asked that the facility be “sensitive and accommodating” to the surrounding neighborhood. A nine-member evaluation committee featuring representatives from the MPEA, City of Chicago, and DePaul believed that Pelli Clarke Pelli’s design struck the right balance by locating a majority of the seating bowl and backstage facilities below street level.
“The dynamic yet elegant design created by Pelli Clarke Pelli for the event center fits perfectly into the fabric of the community,” MPEA CEO Reilly said. “The firm’s innovative design provides a functional and flexible space that will make the event center a wonderful complement to the convention center."
The facility is scheduled to open for the start of the 2016-17 basketball season.