Washington D.C.’s Entertainment and Sports Arena opened in September 2018 and serves as the practice facility for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the home arena for both the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go. It also hosts other events like concerts and boxing.
The 120,000-square-foot arena, located in the historic St. Elizabeths East neighborhood, seats 4,200 people. The cost of the project totaled $65 million, and the arena is expected to attract close to 400,000 fans annually.
Initially, the plan called for terracotta panels so the facility would blend in with the brick buildings in the neighborhood. But after seeing the high cost of using terracotta, the architects changed the design to utilize insulated metal panels. This change from terracotta to insulated metal panels saved an estimated $100,000 - $200,000.
In order to still blend in the new arena with the brick buildings, the Kingspan team put in a tremendous amount of time to find perfect colors to use on the facade. The final colors used were Colonial Red, Redwood, Sandstone and Bone White (all Kingspan standard colors) and Audubon Russet, a custom color from Valspar. This color combination makes the brand new arena blend into the surrounding buildings, some of which date back to the 1930’s.
The materiality of the historic buildings was used for the building’s common spaces to create a unified thread to its environment on the greater St. Elizabeths Campus.
Building without exposed fasteners
The specifications for the Entertainment and Sports Arena project called for an envelope that did not show any visible fasteners. Building without exposed fasteners was no small task, as the arena has more than 53,000 square feet of metal panels. Kingspan met the challenge by engineering a concealed fastener solution that delivers a smooth, flat appearance without the need for exposed trim at the base, corners or openings.
120,000 square feet