The project occupies an L-shaped site in Provo’s historic district next to the city’s primary convention hotel. The project faced a number of challenges, including a small, irregularly shaped site, historic district restrictions, and an address that was not on Provo’s Center Street. All these challenges and more were overcome with a plan that stacks the program vertically, creating a dynamic new presence in downtown Provo, but that also preserves most of the site for future expansion.
The design includes a 20,000 square foot exhibit hall at grade, an 18,000 square foot second-level ballroom, and 7,000 square feet of additional meeting space in a junior ballroom on the third level. The decision to locate the meeting rooms on the third level, made during a design charrette in Provo, afforded the opportunity for a dramatic roof deck, with incredible views of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. A prefunction space wraps the east and north sides of the building on all levels. This orientation allows for a mostly glass prefunction exterior, affording spectacular views from all prefunction areas while minimizing solar heat gain.
The prefunction area steps down toward Center Street, turning a more traditional face toward the historic district. Convention and Visitor’s Bureau offices and building administration help to animate the Center Street façade. A small urban plaza provides surge space for exiting patrons as well as an open space amenity for the downtown. The new convention center is expected to trigger other new public and private development, including a City-funded parking structure and a mixed-use development, including a new hotel, to the north of the project. A local company has already announced a downtown headquarters expansion within a block of the new convention center.