Yale University, Payne Whitney Gymnasium Renovation and Addition

New Haven, Connecticut

  • FIRM

    Ellerbe Becket


    Yale University

  • AREA

    500,000 sq.ft.





Ocean air and more than 60 years of intense use corroded Yale University’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium, the world’s second-largest indoor sports complex. The venue did not meet current standards, international competition requirements or contemporary needs. The school has embarked on a 15-year, four-phase renovation plan to upgrade systems and create new spaces, including ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$200.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation fieldhouse, Olympic-size pool and international squash courts.

The renovation’s first phase, now complete, was filled with challenges. These included revamping mechanical and electrical systems, complete code updates, adding accessibility, systems upgrades/replacement and provisions for Title IX compliance.

Yale also found specific needs for system updates. The university planned a 50-meter competition pool with underwater spectator windows, new diving platforms and an area for television broadcasts. With additional spectators and technology, the pool area needed updated dehumidification equipment.

Considering the gymnasium’s size and significance, Yale chose to renovate and expand the facility in order to accomplish five general goals: meet codes; meet fire/life safety and accessibility standards; improve usability; improve appearance; and add space for new programs.

Note: Total Cost = total program cost.