Creating modern amenities and upgrades to the 1935 era Zable Stadium in the heart of the second oldest university in the United States, provided Quinn Evans Architects with one of our most unique design opportunities.
The College of William & Mary engaged the team of Quinn Evans Architects with McMillan Pazdan Smith to perform a comprehensive programming study of the 1935 era, Zable Stadium. Informed by the programming work, design of a complex addition and renovation were undertaken. The focus of the stadium improvements focused on renovating and expanding the west grandstands to include new seating, concessions and restroom facilities, suite level, press box and upper concourse level. Other improvements to the stadium include renovation of the existing east grandstand and a new concession and restroom building.
The overall design features encourage adaptive re-use, flexibility, integration with the existing campus architecture, maximum use of natural light/ventilation, the use of durable building materials, and will incorporate landscaping and storm water design.
Driving Forces to Design Process
The stadium’s location and Tribe athletic traditions were driving forces behind the design process. From fan amenities to seating improvements, this strategic approach resulted in a venue that shapes the fan experience expresses the College’s brand. The resulting stadium is one of the most beautiful in collegiate football, tying together a significant structural building and the classical campus context.
Providing a first-class game day experience through improved seating options and amenities was the primary goal. Premium amenities have generated a high quality experience for students, alumni, friends, fans, and student-athletes. The west grandstand improvements upgraded access to the stadium with a new ticketing location, entry gate, convenient restrooms, and concessions.
A predominate element of the design are new pyramid-roofed pavilions with masonry arches that draw from the historic character of the stadium. Three corners of the original stadium were anchored by single-story pavilions that serve as public entry points. Two pavilions on the west side match two existing pavilions on the east, each modified to unique site conditions at their bases. The vertical circulation elements of the stair towers and elevators were enclosed with masonry envelopes that unify the overall design. Two towers provide bookends for the new suites and press box giving a contextual frame for this contemporary function and the large upper seating bowl. In the press box and suite area, the required area of transparency is offset by generous areas of face brick along the face of the upper deck seating area. To lighten the mass of the elevated press box, weathered zinc with a green tint complements the “William and Mary Gray” color trim and the deep richness of the blended brick.