The University of Notre Dame is launching a $400 million campus expansion centered around its fabled football stadium, and Kansas City-based 360 Architecture is on the design team.
The Campus Crossroads Project recently announced by the university calls for three new multistory buildings totaling 750,000 square feet to be attached to the east, west and south sides of the stadium, located in the heart of the campus.
While 360 Architecture won’t be designing the buildings, the respected Kansas City sports architecture firm is charged with planning the fan and athletic functions inside, including up to 4,000 new premium seats, a new press facility and a student ballroom that will double as a “tailgate club” on game days.
The buildings will be co-designed by Connecticut-based S/L/A/M Collaborative and Ratio Architects of Indianapolis.
The plan is to restore the “house that Rockne built” look to the 84-year-old stadium where famed coach Knute Rockne honed the Fighting Irish tradition. Fundraising is underway, and construction is expected to begin within two years.
Nate Appleman, the 360 Architecture principal in charge, is a Penn State Nittany Lion by training, but he is enjoying his time roaming the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind., preparing for the ambitious project.
“Being a Northeastern guy, there’s always been this admiration and mystique about Notre Dame,” he said. “Working at Notre Dame is so different from other collegiate experiences I’ve had.
“When they think about premium seating, they don’t want to create anything elitist. They’re very sensitive about keeping the ‘Notre Dame family’ atmosphere. It’s been a breath of fresh air to work there with so many talented people.”
The West Building will be nine stories, with the first two levels used for a student center. The third and fourth floors will be designed by 360 Architecture as a student recreational and sports center and practice court for the varsity men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The fifth level overlooking the stadium bowl will include premium seating. The sixth level will be mechanical space. The seventh level will include a student ballroom, stadium club seating and booths for NBC Sports game telecasts. And levels eight and nine include more premium seating and boxes for coaches. All will be designed by 360 Architecture.
The six-story South Building will be mostly academic space except for a third-level private club and lounge designed by 360 Architecture that will serve as the indoor “tailgate club” on game days. Appleman said fans will be able to arrive as early as 8 a.m. and return throughout the day. A new scoreboard also is planned for the exterior of the sixth level.
The lower six levels of the nine-story East Building will be academic space. The upper floors will be designed by 360 Architecture and will include outdoor club seating, outdoor terraces and a new press box.
Appleman joined 360 Architecture three years ago after working at Populous, another major Kansas City sports architecture firm.
Other important stadium projects on his resume include Penn State, Washington State, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and most recently Mississippi State. The firm also recently completed the renovation of the press box at Faurot Field at the University of Missouri in Columbia.