Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center has received top honors from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the Structural Engineers of Kansas & Missouri (SEAKM). Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm with practices in building structure, building skin and building performance, provided the structural design of the state-of-the-art BOK Center located in Tulsa, Okla. The AISC’s IDEAS2 Award and the SEAKM Excellence in Structural Engineering Award recognize outstanding achievements and innovation in structural engineering.
“It’s an honor to win these distinguished awards for our work on the BOK Center,” said Steve Hofmeister, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, principal of Thornton Tomasetti’s Kansas City, Mo. office. “The magnificent design of the building allows the residents of Tulsa to experience one of the most cutting edge arenas in the country. The collaboration amongst our extraordinary design team was a major factor contributing to the project’s tremendous success.”
BOK Center, a 600,000 square-foot multi-purpose facility, is a world-class event venue and a destination place for the City of Tulsa and the surrounding region. The arena has lower bowl seating, a premium level comprised of 32 suites, and upper bowl seating with the capacity and flexibility to host concerts, hockey, arena football, basketball and many other community events. The design architect for the arena was Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and the architect of record was Matrix Odell (joint venture).
The 11 IDEAS2 winners were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural and engineering firms throughout the U.S. Each project was judged on its use of structural steel with an emphasis on creative solutions to project requirements; design innovation; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; the use of innovative design and construction methods; and sustainable design and construction.
The judging criteria for recipients of The SEAKM Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards were based on creativity of structural design; complexity of criteria or unique problems; innovative application of new or existing materials or techniques; ingenuity of design for efficient use of materials and labor; exceeding client / owner’s needs or expectations; and suitability of the structure for its environment.
The iconic structure’s design inspiration is aimed to draw on the area’s American Indian heritage with use of circular patterns and resemblance of a modern day dome hut. The facility’s design utilizes sunlight during the day, while being lit from within at night. The glass signature wall along the southern half of the arena welcomes visitors by creating a unique gathering space and focal entry point.
The Thornton Tomasetti design team faced several unique challenges in providing support for the irregular shape and geometry of the BOK Center. The arena required several different innovative engineering solutions that could only be achieved utilizing structural steel. Thornton Tomasetti implemented the use of 3-D Tekla Structures software to layout the columns in the curved, sloping walls to “best-fit” the steel structure into the architect’s building envelope prepared in Rhino. Through the use of the interaction between this software, the design team was able to anticipate and resolve coordination issues before setbacks surfaced in the field.
About Thornton Tomasetti (www.ThorntonTomasetti.com)
Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering design, investigation and analysis services to clients worldwide on projects of every size and level of complexity. We fulfill the needs of our clients at every stage in the building life cycle through seven integrated practices in Structural Engineering, Façade Engineering, Forensics, Renewal, Construction Engineering, Property Loss Consulting and Sustainability. Founded in 1956, today Thornton Tomasetti is an 800-person organization of engineers, architects and other professionals collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Great Ink Communications – 212.741.2977
Eric Gerard/Lindsay Church
Thornton Tomasetti – 917.661.7800
James M. Kent, JKent@ThorntonTomasetti.com
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