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Epic, Deep Space Auditorium


Epic, Deep Space Auditorium in Verona, Wisconsin.

Thornton Tomasetti

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Deep Space Auditorium

Epic Systems Corporation, one of the country’s top 10 suppliers of healthcare information systems, is located on an 811-acre site in rural Wisconsin. The latest addition to Epic’s campus is a 600,000-square-foot underground auditorium. Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural design, building skin and construction support services—which includes consulting on building envelope systems and development of a fully detailed Tekla model—for the 14,300-seat auditorium.

Excavated into a hillside to preserve views throughout the scenic campus, the auditorium will extend 74 feet underground and will be covered by a six acre green roof with vertical glazing for daylight. The column-free roof will be supported by 25-foot-deep trusses spanning 275 feet. The long-span roof is one of the project’s most challenging components. Unique load considerations, including soil and gravel depths of up to 28 inches, and erection issues had a strong influence on the roof structure’s design. To ensure an efficient structure and limit potential conflicts during construction, Thornton Tomasetti is consulting on erection engineering and design for the 4,700-ton roof lift. The roof trusses will be specially designed to accommodate erecting the structure on the ground and strand jacking the entire roof into position.

The auditorium’s foundation systems include an 80-foot-tall earth retention system composed of a combination of soil nail, counterfort, and cantilevered retaining walls. The auditorium also features an 800-foot-long wall that incorporates sections of glass within large stone masses. A series of steel curtain wall elements span openings within and between the sculptural blue stone masonry forms. Thornton Tomasetti is providing skin design / engineering and geometry support for the wall.

Natural daylighting, photovoltaic solar power, stormwater filtration, and geothermal heat pumps add to the project’s sustainability.

By providing integrated services, Thornton Tomasetti is contributing to maintaining an accelerated schedule of 25 months, from beginning of design to completion of construction.

Project Stats

Location: Verona, Wisconsin

Owner: Epic Systems Corporation

Architect: Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A.

Area: 600,000 sf

Completion Date: 2013