The University of Arizona has a proud tradition of producing professional-class athletes since their inception in 1899. Originally constructed in 1928, the Arizona Stadium has been through many additions and renovations with the most recent major upgrade in 1988. The school knew it was time for an overhaul with an extensive redesign and expansion. The entire north end zone was rebuilt over a year and a half ago and completed in July of 2013. The new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility is a 184,000 square foot facility that includes areas for strength and conditioning, training, coaches offices, locker rooms, showers, storage and meeting space.
Increasing competition among college football clubs has generated the need for innovative design. The Wildcats locker room design would be an integral recruiting tool for the school’s athletic program. Attracting and competing for potential recruits’ attention required high-end design and that element of cool.
Tasked with designing the locker room and surrounding spaces, Heery Design sought to create a base camp of sorts for the athletes—a hub to gather, recharge, do homework and get into the zone before game. The University of Arizona locker room needed a wow-factor feature in the space to set the school apart from competing athletic clubs. The design team sought to match the University colors and create a jaw-dropping feature with high end details like concealed hardware attachments and minimal seams.
Inspired by a lit emblem on the ceiling of another university locker room, Karen Verplanck McCallum, Senior Designer at Heery Design, envisioned the University’s circular trademark block A as a glowing centerpiece within the millwork of the ceiling in the locker room.
“We wanted to create this larger-than- life ceiling element with a material that would glow. We wanted to hide the hardware, attachments and light source, too," says McCallum. The firm knew that 3form could create the exact color match that Chroma was the natural choice, but they weren’t sure how it could all be evenly lit without showing hardware.
3form engineered and built a complete solution starting from a unique substructure for the ceiling feature. This innovation was the foundation for the entire feature and included a reflective panel, recessed white LED lights, strategically placed hardware and a raised platform for colored LED lights to illuminate the custom red of the A and the custom blue Chroma outline.