All-Around Arenas (Available only in Structures special issue)

by Lawrence G. Griffis, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Vice Pres. and Dir. of Struct. Engrg.; Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc., Houston, TX,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 9, Pg. 6A-11A


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Structural form and architectural function go hand-in-hand in the design of today's modern multipurpose arenas. The 19th century architect, Louis H. Sullivan, coined the phrase Form follows function. Similarly, today's complex multipurpose arena designs require the collaboration of the architect and the engineer. The most successful of these embody Sullivan's maxim, linking form and function. Many aspects of the architectural form of modern arenas are set by the structural engineer's concept of the structural system and the forces it carries. Nowhere is this more evident than in longspan roof systems. Today's successful arenas require longspan, column-free spaces to maximize sight lines and to put spectators as close as possible to the action on the floor. Today, sight lines and distance to the arena floor dictate the shape of arena bowls.

Subject Headings: Facilities | Sports | Multiple purpose structures | Roofs

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