Upon the successful completion of the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall addition project, the Indiana University Athletic Department discovered an opportunity to enhance an area of underutilized space within the building. The space located under the lower bowl was being utilized for storage, back of house restrooms, and various ancillary needs. With direct access to the basketball court, it made sense to reclaim this space as game day locker rooms, a players lounge, shower/restrooms, and coaching conference spaces – all of which did not previously exist within the facility.
After early discussions with the University it became apparent this space needed to be on par with many of the universities IU competes with for talent. The current coaching staff indicated that, while the space needed to be improved, there was also a strong desire to have it be modest. Above all requirements, the space needed to speak to the rich history of Indiana University Basketball with an eye to the future.
In order to meet the goals for the project, the design team incorporated wood, limestone, and back painted glass as the foundation of the finish palette. These finishes would serve as a clean backdrop to the iconic branding components found in the furnishings and implemented throughout the design. The overall composition created the motivational and energetic space required to attract new athletes, while reminding them of the honor involved in representing IU.
In a press release, Coach Archie Miller stated, “As a program we want our players to experience the best of the best, and as we took inventory on how we wanted to do things as a new staff, one of the things we really approached was a new area for our team and creating an environment that is cutting edge and second to none. I think that’s what we have been able to create here.”
When Indiana University set out to improve the iconic Assembly Hall, they prioritized the preservation of the original aesthetic while challenging the design team to develop a bold, yet respectful expansion that closely aligned with the architectural character of the original structure. Contextual influences drove a design solution that integrated the new addition into the existing structure holistically with a reverent architectural expression that closely relates to the original.
A new atrium space allows views between the entry and main concourse. This is the center of the new space and features a reinvented version of Athlete’s Hall and a panoramic window allowing views into the arena. The new arrival area supports existing traditions while offering a space for new traditions, events, and ceremonies to take place. The new entry is conveniently located, and visible escalators create a clear and efficient means for moving spectators through the space into the arena. A new Box Seat Club offers an exceptional viewing experience of events. CSO collaborated with SmithGroup to complete this project.
CSO subsequently completed the Roberts Family Indiana Basketball Team Center and Mark Cuban Center for Sports Technology located within Assembly Hall.
The Dr. Don Shondell Practice Center is a new building located adjacent to Worthen Arena which is home to the Ball State University Cardinal’s basketball and volleyball teams. The main area of the facility provides a new practice gymnasium and includes two, full-sized NCAA-compliant basketball and volleyball practice courts. The facility is accessible from Worthen Arena to provide access to existing locker and restroom facilities.
The connector between the two buildings has two levels. The main level provides an exterior entrance to the Practice Center with access to the courts and space for a team room with tiered seating, a training room, and courtside storage space. The second level aligns with Worthen Arena’s concourse level where there is access to two new meeting rooms that overlook the new practice courts.
The namesake of the facility, Dr. Don Shondell, established an impressive legacy as a men’s volleyball coach as well as the founder of the volleyball team at Ball State University.