Epic, Deep Space Auditorium in Verona, Wisconsin. Vakaris Renetskis/Thornton Tomasetti (left) and Robert Stadler/Thornton Tomasetti (right).

Epic, Deep Space Auditorium



Epic Systems Corporation is located on an 811-acre site in rural Wisconsin. The latest addition to Epic’s campus is an award-winning 1.2-million-square-foot underground auditorium. Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design, façade engineering and construction engineering—which included consulting on building envelope systems and a fully detailed Tekla model—for the 11,400-seat auditorium, with the ability to expand to 14,000 seats.

Excavated into a hillside to preserve views throughout the campus, the auditorium extends 74 feet underground and is covered by an eight-acre green roof with vertical glazing for daylight. The column-free roof is supported by 25-foot-deep trusses spanning 275 feet. The long-span roof was 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 consulted on erection engineering and design for the 4,200-ton roof lift. The roof trusses were 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 provided building skin design / engineering and geometry support for the wall.

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

By providing integrated services, Thornton Tomasetti contributed to maintaining an accelerated schedule of 29 months, from beginning of design to completion of construction.

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