University of Pittsburgh, Petersen Events Center

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • FIRM

    Apostolou Associates


    University of Pittsburgh

  • AREA

    420,000 sq.ft.





The University of Pittsburgh wanted its events center to be more than a venue for basketball, graduations and concerts. One of the country’s finest basketball arenas, the Petersen Events Center also is a recreation/fitness facility, athletic administration/academic support hub and supplementary student union with food court, campus store and sports museum. This building ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY12,500COST PER SQ FT$176.19CITATIONPost-Secondary CitationFEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio pedestrian links between the upper and lower campuses.

Its organizing spiral geometry recalls the bowl-shaped football stadium formerly on the site. The saddle-back standing-seam roof provides a striking skyline image. Brick, rusticated walls and corresponding horizontal window mullions soften the overall building mass and provide high levels of natural lighting to the interior.

The 72-foot-high glass atrium entrance is a highly visible beacon to the rest of campus. The escalators run through the building’s five levels and provide views of campus and the surrounding community. The split-level concourse, made necessary by the site’s extreme topography, is the beneficiary of natural light that comes through glass and translucent panels. Suites are on several levels; the most distinct are six on the court level that have the wood court floor extending through them.

“The interior and exterior integrated well with the terrain. An effective use of shapes and materials to promote the energy of an event.”--2003 jury