New look for convention center

June 25, 2007
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Locally based Ratio Architects this afternoon unveiled final plans for a Convention Center Expansion420,000-square-foot expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. It includes 254,000 square feet of additional exhibit space, 63,000 square feet of meeting rooms, a new banquet kitchen and 100,000 square feet of "pre-function space" including a three-story entry pavilion at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Georgia Street. The $275-million project also calls for a covered connector between the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium. Check out full coverage here. What do you think?
  • When I went to the press conference for the big hotel design, I went in very hopeful and came out very disappointed.

    Going into the ISCBA meeting, I wasn't holding my breath on the design. I left feeling pretty happy. We'll see if I feel the same after a good night's sleep.
  • They should use a green roof to decrease the building's energy costs, reduce storm water runoff, reduce ambient temperatures, reduce city noises with a living buffer, extend the life of the roof membrane with reduced thermal shock and UV degradation, and establish a habitat at roof level.

    Plus anyone in an office tower in downtown can tell you that black tared roofs provide a very ugly daytime view.

    World's Largest Green Roof:
  • meh.
  • Looking at the elevation drawing reminds me of the storyabout the Kings clothing. I don't see this diving platform looking entrance as a great addition to the downtown area.
  • I like the walls and the glass. There's continuity with the current convention center design, yet the architects have gone a step further with the addition.

    Still, I'm not fond of the roofline. The treatment seems to stress horizontality and sprawl, and the entrance cap looks like it could pass for a makeshift heliport.
  • At least it's not another CCB/Conseco style quonset hut barrel vault, and it's not as bad as the new airport terminal midfield.

    A green roof might be a marketing factor to environmentally-aware groups coming to (or staying in) town for conventions...organizations like AICP, AIA, FFA, etc., and it should be thoughtfully explored.
  • Generally, I like the design. The possible exception might be the entrance roof, but otherwise I think it's an interesting and dramatic design. I do like the idea of the green roof however. Wonder if they (the Stadium/Conv.Ctr. Authority) could be encouraged to look at that possibility. Everyplace else is doing it.
  • Mediocre. Functional. Forgettable.

    It will do its job without drawing attention to itself. This seems to be the rationale of all architecture created for Indy.

    It also looks like a bigger version of the IMCPL Haughville Branch:

    This isn't a coincidence, as Domain Architecture designed the Haughville Branch Library and were also associate architects under Ration for the ICC.
  • i agree with ablerock. not offensive, but certainly forgettable. i'm trying my hardest to get excited about it and i just can't. typical ratio quality - no risk. i just keep hoping that one day (preferrably in the next fifty years before i die) a building will be designed for this city that actually worth looking at. something to wake up the local architects from this long slumber of boredom and honestly insulting design as of late. also -see cincinnati's new project:

    ...i wish we could get that building.
  • Much agreed on the green roof idea. This would be a great way for Indy to truly make a statement. And isn't there some kind of concern about funding the operating costs of the stadium and convention center? The green roof would keep those operating costs down.

    As for the design, well, I don't think it's as bad as some of you seem to. At least it's a striking entrance. It's a lot better than most things downtown. And it does reflect the design of the airport, which I actually like. Overall, it's a step in the right direction, but it's not the architectural home run we've all been hoping for.
  • I've given up on architecture in Indianapolis. I just really don't care anymore.
  • From what I can tell, this seems to resemble a larger version of the convention center they're building in downtown Ft. wayne
  • A design fit for the suburbs. BLAH!
  • I'm not sure what you guys expected. Yes, the design is not as inspiring as I'd like, BUT it does fit in quite well with the current uninspiring convention center and the similarly uninspiring Simon building. I agree about a green roof. This would be an opportunity for Indianapolis (recently named on the top ten list for worst air quality in the US) to start cleaning up its reputation and inspire (ahh, there's the inspiration) other cities to follow suit.
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  • Truthfully, my dentist's office is more interesting than that building. Boring!!!
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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.