Populous inspired by team mascot for new basketball centre in Texas
Sports performance facility completes first season at the Stephen F Austin State University
Tenderstream member Populous has celebrated the completion of the first season of use at the Loddie Naymola Basketball Performance Center (LNBPC) at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The firm carried out the design of the building’s interior and exterior, as well as the development of branding and graphics for the 54,000 sq ft, two-story project, which opened in October 2021. In addition to the new facility, Populous’ scope encompassed improvements to the existing 7,203 seat arena.
For the overall interior design, Populous drew inspiration from the team’s mascot, the Lumberjacks, and the forests of East Texas. On entering the lobby, visitors’ eyes are drawn to a display of burnt wood rings on the ceiling, taken from a 120-foot pine tree that had to be removed during construction. With the help of the university’s forestry department, it was preserved in a nearby pond and cut into rings by a local artist, who then fashioned it into an art piece.
Populous worked with a local Dallas company, Hollman Lockers, to arrange perforations in each locker in the formation of pine trees. A black and white carpet features a diamond pattern that is mirrored on the ceiling, a play on a basketball net. The underground tunnel just outside the locker rooms features a dark floor and large repeated graphic of cut logs on the wall, topped off with a neon-powered saw blade.
In the practice court, the roof is supported by glulam beams spanning almost 100 feet long and six feet deep. A full wall of glazing brings in natural light, while the coaches’ offices look out over the court and through the windows to the forest. Outside, a new public plaza has become a popular backdrop for photos and celebratory moments.
“The Basketball Performance Centre is one of the largest investments in the history of Stephen F. Austin State University’s athletics programs,” said Jonathan Kelley, a principal and senior architect at Populous. “Following several successful basketball seasons for the men and women’s teams, we worked with the university to build the future of its program, student-athletes and fans, creating a one-of-a-kind facility that is one of the best in college basketball.”
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