Launch Slideshow

The multifunction ShoWare Center, located just outside of Seattle, seats 6,100 fans during hockey games and ice shows, and 7,800 people during concerts. The ShoWare Center lettering above the main entrance is actually a reflection of a sign that is installed horizontally below the soffit. While mirrored surfaces tend to be associated with luxe environments--casinos, discos, and boutiques--at the ShoWare Center, the polished stainless steel soffit was an efficient way to amplify the lobby and façade.

ShoWare Center

LMN Architects create a vivid steel and glass arena, highlighted by bright green paths and LEDs, in Kent, Wash., to be used by the local Seattle hockey team and for concerts.

ShoWare Center

LMN Architects create a vivid steel and glass arena, highlighted by bright green paths and LEDs, in Kent, Wash., to be used by the local Seattle hockey team and for concerts.

  • The multifunction ShoWare Center, located just outside of Seattle, seats 6,100 fans during hockey games and ice shows, and 7,800 people during concerts. The ShoWare Center lettering above the main entrance is actually a reflection of a sign that is installed horizontally below the soffit. While mirrored surfaces tend to be associated with luxe environments--casinos, discos, and boutiques--at the ShoWare Center, the polished stainless steel soffit was an efficient way to amplify the lobby and façade.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EF1%2Etmp_tcm20-214065.jpg

    true

    The multifunction ShoWare Center, located just outside of Seattle, seats 6,100 fans during hockey games and ice shows, and 7,800 people during concerts. The ShoWare Center lettering above the main entrance is actually a reflection of a sign that is installed horizontally below the soffit. While mirrored surfaces tend to be associated with luxe environments--casinos, discos, and boutiques--at the ShoWare Center, the polished stainless steel soffit was an efficient way to amplify the lobby and façade.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The multifunction ShoWare Center, located just outside of Seattle, seats 6,100 fans during hockey games and ice shows, and 7,800 people during concerts. The ShoWare Center lettering above the main entrance is actually a reflection of a sign that is installed horizontally below the soffit. While mirrored surfaces tend to be associated with luxe environments--casinos, discos, and boutiques--at the ShoWare Center, the polished stainless steel soffit was an efficient way to amplify the lobby and façade.

  • The ShoWare Center's lettering above the main entrance is a reflection of the sign installed horizontally below the soffit.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EF3%2Etmp_tcm20-214079.jpg

    true

    The ShoWare Center's lettering above the main entrance is a reflection of the sign installed horizontally below the soffit.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The ShoWare Center's lettering above the main entrance is a reflection of the sign installed horizontally below the soffit.

  • Kent Event Center

    LMN Architects took cues from its experience in theater design when programming the center, using lighting and supergraphics to choreograph the visitors' experience from the highway approach all the way through to reaching their seat for the game.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EF4%2Etmp_tcm20-214086.jpg

    true

    LMN Architects took cues from its experience in theater design when programming the center, using lighting and supergraphics to choreograph the visitors' experience from the highway approach all the way through to reaching their seat for the game.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    LMN Architects took cues from its experience in theater design when programming the center, using lighting and supergraphics to choreograph the visitors' experience from the highway approach all the way through to reaching their seat for the game.

  • The second-floor cladding is composed of white 22 gauge metal panels. Staggering the panels, some of which are slightly recessed, adds texture to the surface. The swell of the roofsupported inside by massive steel trussesis clad in a similar material with smaller-scale horizontal metal ribs.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EEF%2Etmp_tcm20-214051.jpg

    true

    The second-floor cladding is composed of white 22 gauge metal panels. Staggering the panels, some of which are slightly recessed, adds texture to the surface. The swell of the roofsupported inside by massive steel trussesis clad in a similar material with smaller-scale horizontal metal ribs.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The second-floor cladding is composed of white 22 gauge metal panels. Staggering the panels, some of which are slightly recessed, adds texture to the surface. The swell of the roof—supported inside by massive steel trusses—is clad in a similar material with smaller-scale horizontal metal ribs.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EE8%2Etmp_tcm20-214002.jpg

    true

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    Courtesy LMN Architects

  • Kent Event Center

    The windows that penetrate the metal siding over the entrance belong to the club lounge. Located at the southwest corner, the lounge has expansive windows that offer a view of Mount Rainier. Natural light from the windows reaches into the bowl, but during events, shutters made from airplane hangar doors block the light. Also on this second level are VIP suites, crucial to the ShoWare Centers financial model, that run the length of the ice sheet on either side.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EF0%2Etmp_tcm20-214058.jpg

    true

    The windows that penetrate the metal siding over the entrance belong to the club lounge. Located at the southwest corner, the lounge has expansive windows that offer a view of Mount Rainier. Natural light from the windows reaches into the bowl, but during events, shutters made from airplane hangar doors block the light. Also on this second level are VIP suites, crucial to the ShoWare Centers financial model, that run the length of the ice sheet on either side.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The windows that penetrate the metal siding over the entrance belong to the club lounge. Located at the southwest corner, the lounge has expansive windows that offer a view of Mount Rainier. Natural light from the windows reaches into the bowl, but during events, shutters made from airplane hangar doors block the light. Also on this second level are VIP suites, crucial to the ShoWare Center’s financial model, that run the length of the ice sheet on either side.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EE4%2Etmp_tcm20-213974.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy LMN Architects

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EE6%2Etmp_tcm20-213988.jpg

    true

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    Courtesy LMN Architects

  • Kent Event Center

    The vivid green lines that start in the parking lot continue through the lobby and the gates to the different sections of the hockey arena. The industrial spacewith polished concrete floors and black-painted cinder block wallsis enlivened by supergraphics. Large green numbers mark each door, and large white stylized figures indicate the restrooms.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EED%2Etmp_tcm20-214037.jpg

    true

    The vivid green lines that start in the parking lot continue through the lobby and the gates to the different sections of the hockey arena. The industrial spacewith polished concrete floors and black-painted cinder block wallsis enlivened by supergraphics. Large green numbers mark each door, and large white stylized figures indicate the restrooms.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The vivid green lines that start in the parking lot continue through the lobby and the gates to the different sections of the hockey arena. The industrial space—with polished concrete floors and black-painted cinder block walls—is enlivened by supergraphics. Large green numbers mark each door, and large white stylized figures indicate the restrooms.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EEB%2Etmp_tcm20-214023.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy LMN Architects

  • Kent Event Center

    The ice sheet in the arena is used for the Thunderbirds home games. In the off-season, it can be used for traveling shows such as the Ice Capades. Also, the ice sheet can be covered to turn the space into a concert venue. During those events, the capacity increases by 1,700 seats.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4EEE%2Etmp_tcm20-214044.jpg

    true

    The ice sheet in the arena is used for the Thunderbirds home games. In the off-season, it can be used for traveling shows such as the Ice Capades. Also, the ice sheet can be covered to turn the space into a concert venue. During those events, the capacity increases by 1,700 seats.

    600

    Lara Swimmer

    The ice sheet in the arena is used for the Thunderbirds’ home games. In the off-season, it can be used for traveling shows such as the Ice Capades. Also, the ice sheet can be covered to turn the space into a concert venue. During those events, the capacity increases by 1,700 seats.

It’s game night. Hockey fans driving to the Seattle Thunderbirds’ new home in Kent, Wash., can see the arena long before they hit the gates, and when they get closer, the steel and glass façade reflects green streaks, red taillights, and spectators approaching the lobby. As the Zamboni takes its spin around the ice, the parking lot fills with cars. Anticipation builds.

Seattle-based LMN Architects’ scheme for the 154,400-square-foot multiuse ShoWare Center (the ice sheet can be covered and the seating reconfigured for concerts) choreographs that time between getting out of your car and arriving at your seat. “We analyzed all the architectural elements according to how they create the complete sequence, and how they culminate in the overall dramatic experience,” says LMN design partner Mark Reddington. “That experience starts when you see the building. It extends into the community, even to those who aren’t going to the event.”

Indeed, the atmosphere is electric, literally. Green lines painted on the ground and trimmed with LEDs radiate out from the glazed public concourse into the parking lot, serving as paths to the building’s entrance. Spectators are greeted by a large sloping mirrored stainless steel soffit, which reflects everything from fans to supergraphics, making even a half-full house seem dizzyingly energetic.

But behind the glitz and sporting paraphernalia is a thoughtfully engineered building that flouts the perception that sporting venues cannot be paragons of environmentally conscious design. In most arenas—especially ice rinks—heating, cooling, and electrical loads are high, but with a carefully designed HVAC system, the ShoWare Center is on track for LEED Silver certification. Efficient space planning accounts for a chunk of the building’s overall sustainability; by placing the rink on grade and looping the concourse around its perimeter, Reddington was able to tuck concession stands and restrooms under the bleachers, while back-of-house facilities such as locker rooms and offices were consolidated on the arena’s north side. Site tactics such as stormwater management and recharging nearby wetlands with roof rainwater runoff added LEED points, as did the use of local and recycled materials. But for Reddington, making the building eco-friendly wasn’t the driving force behind the design. “The building is sustainable, but it is not a showcase of green elements. It is fundamentally designed around how people use the space,” he says.

And while the sustainable elements of the building are worth celebrating, most fans likely won’t even notice. They have other priorities—and for them the real show starts when the Thunderbirds hit the ice.


Project Credits

Project ShoWare Center, Kent, Wash.
Client City of Kent
Client's Representative Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Seattle
Architect LMN Architects, Seattle—Viñoly-Menendez, Kristi Paulson (project designers); Michael Petersen (project architect); John Woloszyn (technical architect); Todd Charlton, Caleb Menge, Marion Gee (architects); Robin Dalton, Dawn Polak (interior designers)
General Contractor Mortenson
Ice Sheet/Bowl Design Consultant PBK Architects
Structural/Civil Engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Mechanical Engineer Wood Harbinger
Electrical/Acoustical Engineer Sparling
Geotechnical Engineer Shannon & Wilson
Landscape Architect Site Workshop
Electrical/Mechanical Consultant Genivar
Lighting Consultant Candela
Graphics/Signage Widmeyer Design
Food Service William Caruso + Associates
Code Consultant Flack+Kurtz
Cost Consultant Davis Langdon
Sustainability Consultant Paladino & Co.
Size 154,400 square feet
Cost $63 million


Linear In-Ground, Street 15, LED Lighting
Aldabra Contemporary Lighting Technology
strategiclighting.com/brands/aldabra
LMN Architects used bright green LED lighting to track the entrance paths through the parking lot and into the ShoWare Center concourse. Highly efficient at just 5 watts per meter, the linear in-ground LEDs provide a theatrical splash with a low energy load.

Wall-Mounted Water Closet and Touchless Lite Urinal
Kohler
kohler.com
When more than 6,000 hockey fans fill ShoWare, you can be sure the public restrooms see some action. To conserve water, LMN Architects chose the water-efficient low-flow Bardon toilet from Kohler, equipped with a Sloan Valve dual-flushometer. Each fixture is equipped with a push-down handle for a full flush and lift-up handle for reduced flush. In the men’s room, low-flow urinals use a mere half gallon per flush.

Interior Enviro-Coat Paint
Kelly-Moore Paints
kellymoore.com
Surfaces throughout the building are painted with Enviro-Coat paint. With low-VOC off-gassing and antimicrobial properties to control odor, the acrylic wall paint promotes good indoor air quality. The paint also resists film attack by mildew, an important factor in the damp Pacific Northwest.

PureBond Plywood Architectural Millwork
Columbia Forest Products
columbiaforestproducts.com
Drawing on the resources of the Pacific Northwest’s forests, the architects specified Columbia’s PureBond plywood for the Thunderbirds’ locker room. The manufacturer uses sustainable harvesting practices, making its plywood LEED compliant and FSC certified. To maintain good air quality in the arena, the product is formaldehyde-free.