In 1997, Old Dominion University embarked on an ambitious partnership with the city of Norfolk to expand eastward as part of an 85-acre urban-redevelopment project. Their vision—to create the University Village, composed of new student housing, office research and retail space.
The Ted Constant Convocation Center is the anchor project and cornerstone of ASSOCIATED FIRMRossetti AssociatesCAPACITY8,700COST PER SQ FT$152.87FEATURED IN2003 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized mixed-use campus neighborhood development, and serves as the “bridge” between the campus and the new University Village.
The center is a multiuse performance facility that accommodates a range of venues for the university and community, including concerts, lectures, vendor exhibits, banquets, men’s and women’s basketball and other venues, including graduation ceremonies. The bowl capacity can be downsized using a truss-mounted, movable curtaining system and retractable seating. Ample storage areas permit the portable basketball floor and furniture to be removed easily and stored for quick turnover between performances.
The facility also includes 16 luxury suites (on an upper concourse); a control room and club area (on the main concourse), a 10,000-square-foot conference center, a commissary, home and visitor locker rooms, and a main lobby (on the ground floor).
The “Ted” serves as a gateway to the university because of its prominent siting on a major urban, north-south thoroughfare in downtown Norfolk. It employs the campus palette of materials, thus visually extending the campus’ influence across Hampton Boulevard.
The main facade employs a 50-foot-high window, providing patrons a view toward the main campus, while displaying events from within to the public. A 35-foot-tall colonnade, which extends outward and opens to the community, intersects this glass facade. Entrances are provided on the west and east facades, providing access from the main campus and the new University Village.
The “Ted” employs audiovisual display devices to communicate all facets of university life and history to the community and its students, including a 6-foot by 16-foot video display wall in the main lobby; a four-sided, 16-foot by 16-foot video scoreboard in the bowl; and a marquis tower with video displays on the main entry arcade.