Project Detail


Grand Canyon University Arena

Phoenix, AZ United States


Project Description

Located on a rapidly growing Christian campus in west Phoenix, this arena was designed to not only to help propel the University’s basketball program to NCAA Division 1 status; it was conceived as a place for family entertainment and as the gathering place for students.

The project team recognized that the heart of the building is the event itself, and the intent of the design is to allow the power of the event to energize the campus and community and inform the shape and materials of the building.

Large two story glass windows face the campus across an exterior grass event space connecting the even to the campus. The north side is dominated by a long glass façade at the concourse level that connects the inside of the arena to the community along Camelback Road.

The seating bowl and event floor are faceted like a gem and their form extends through the interior second floor concourse through the lower roof and is clad in metal panel on the exterior. It symbolizes the energy & vitality of the events that take place in the arena.

The building defines the south edge of the campus and transforms an existing campus lawn into a protected defined quad. The lobby, restrooms and concession stand on the ground floor of the arena have been designed to support large and small scaled activities in this exterior event space.

The ground level of the arena is clad in brick to pay tribute to the campus’s traditional two story brick buildings. The concourse level is low maintenance corrugated metal panel that becomes a textured frame for the large expanses of glass. Light reflecting smooth metal panels were chosen for the upper gem to reflect the changing patterns of desert light.


Project Details

Grand Canyon University Arena
Shared by:
Project Team:
    John F. Kane, Principal; Anton Foss, Principal; Doug Brown, Principal; Tom Reilly, Project Manager; Steve Allison, Project Architect; Glen Wollenhaupt, Project Architect; Suhoon Bae, Designer; Rachel Rasmussen, Designer; Craig Elfrink, Designer; Jannel Waldron, Designer;
  • Structural Engineer: Paragon Structural Design 
  • Landscape Architect: Moore/Swick Partnership 
  • Mechanical Engineer: Henderson Engineers 
  • Electrical Engineer: Henderson Engineers 
  • Plumbing Engineer: Henderson Engineers 
  • Lighting Designer: 360 Architecture 
  • General Contractor: Perini Building Company 
  • Civil Engineer: Strand Associates, Inc. 
  • Food Service: The Bigelow Companies 
  • Accessibility: United Spinal Association 
  • Code Consultant: FP&C 
  • Environmental Graphics & Signage: Tilt 


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