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Populous Reveals Plans for the New Milwaukee Bucks Arena

by Rick Anderson

The Milwaukee Bucks have revealed renderings for a new, multi-purpose arena. Designed by Kansas City, Missouri–based architecture firm Populous, in association with Eppstein Uhen Architects & HNTB, the 714,000-square-foot venue will anchor a developing 27-acre district in downtown Milwaukee. The overall complex will include a new block of buildings, ranging in use from entertainment venues and parking garages to commercial and residential buildings. Nevertheless, much of the city’s excitement is surrounding the Bucks’ new home. The eye-catching façade will feature an immense wall of glass that, for those outside its barrier, will reveal the activity going on inside the arena. However, the building’s most striking feature will be its arched roof, which, clad in patinated zinc shingles, overlaps the glass façade and stretches down to street level on one side. This sloping section will be punctuated with vertical, multi-storied glass, which will include ceramic frit patterns.

The new downtown stadium, like its predecessor—which was designed by Populous and completed in 1988—will also be home to Marquette University's basketball team, while hosting other events, such as concerts. Its design pays homage to Milwaukee's architectural heritage and the region's environment. “The new Milwaukee Arena has to be very flexible in order to accommodate the Bucks and Marquette basketball,” says Brad Clark, one of the lead architects at Populous. “Yet, it will also need to be built to host concerts, family shows, and other wide-ranging events.”

The proposed venue would be built in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, linking the historic Old World Third Street, the riverfront, the heavily commuted Water Street, and the exhibition space at the Wisconsin Center. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the stadium is expected to be completed in 2018.

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