Sports & Recreation

Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Photo: Red Archie, courtesy of Tubelite

HOK designed Little Caesars Arena to have a deconstructed layout with numerous buildings. The arena complex houses all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams within walking distance: the Detroit Tigers of the American League, Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association and Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

Little Caesars Arena has a 61,000-square-foot covered concourse and three connected, mid-rise buildings (A, B and C). Upper floors are filled with offices and street levels have retail spaces. Detached from the arena and concourse, a parking garage has a covered walkway bridge to the arena. HOK designed the arena complex with a blend of historic and modern aesthetics, massively scaled interiors, and pedestrian-scaled exteriors. Various configurations of brick, glass, metal and finish colors comprise the buildings’ façades.

Paul Leskovac, senior project architect, senior associate of global sports, recreation and entertainment practice at HOK, says, “One of the main design goals was to make the arena fit into the fabric of downtown and the surrounding neighborhood, rather than being this behemoth arena that dominates the area by its immense height and scale. The arena fits on what was four square city blocks. One way we achieved it is that the arena floor is actually 30 feet below street level. If there was no signage, one might think it was a cool urban infill project, which it is!”

To complete the design, HOK specified Tubelite Inc.’s curtainwall and storefront systems for exterior and interior spaces. Madison Heights Glass Co. installed Tubelite’s systems on the main arena building’s interior and exterior, on a retail store and bar in Building C, and a restaurant in Building A and Building B.

In addition to buildings A, B and C, the project included a separate parking garage and pedestrian bridge. Universal Glass and Metals Inc. installed Tubelite’s systems in those structures.

In total, the project utilized 30,100 square feet of Tubelite’s 400TU Curtainwall in 7.5-inch and 10-inch-deep systems, and 186 standard and Monumental Medium Stile storefront systems in four painted colors and a clear anodize finish.

To finish framing for the curtainwall and storefront systems, Linetec Inc. applied 70 percent PVDF resin-based architectural coatings using Valspar Corp.’s (now Sherwin-Williams Coil and Extrusion Coatings) Fluropon in Medium Gray and Black, PPG Industries Inc.’s Duranar in Traffic Gray, and AkzoNobel Inc.’s Trinar in custom Detroit Red Wings Red. Class I Clear anodize also was used on the exterior curtainwall and doors, and Class II Clear anodize was used for the interior finish for 11,500 square feet of Tubelite E14000 Storefront systems. The majority of Tubelite’s systems on the complex have Vitro Architectural Glass’ 1-inch, insulated Solarban 60 low-E glass. The project was completed in September 2017.

Leskovac says, “Tubelite’s entrances, storefront and curtainwall are used on all façades of the arena. This includes the four main entry entrance systems and curtainwall, as well as curtainwall punched openings in the façade of the arena and Buildings A, B and C. The colors helped make the façades appear like different buildings on a downtown street.”