October 14, 2017
While they’re technically doors, they will be used mainly as windows. So cool!
The Sacramento Kings have a shiny new arena for the 2016-2017 NBA season, and its most eye-catching feature is not the floor or the seats or the culinary amenities. It’s the doors. Not any old doors, mind you, but massive, airplane hangar-sized doors custom designed for the greenest arena in the world.
The $500-plus million, 17,500-seat venue in the heart of downtown Sacramento is what Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadivé calls a “21st century cathedral.” The five signature doors, inspired by California-style indoor-outdoor living, measure 40 feet high and 30 feet wide. AECOM architect Rob Rothblatt says the huge mobile panels are central to the architectural design and merge indoor and outdoor life while also self-ventilating the arena.
The bi-fold canopy hangar doors are made of a combination of steel and aluminum frames. Built by Schweiss in southern Minnesota, each door weighs 27,000 pounds and has three motors housed in the ceiling that require 480V, three-phase, 50-amp electrical power to raise them up with straps. Kings president Chris Granger says the doors essentially fold up from their bootstraps. Glazed with low-E, safety laminated glass, two doors kink when closed and three face down at a 10-degree angle to make them partly self-shading and prevent unwanted reflections.
While they’re technically doors, they will be used mainly as windows, as another set of conventional doors at the base will handle foot traffic in and out of the arena. These massive panels take about three to four minutes to open completely, but all it takes to control them is an iPhone app.
The arena will also be embracing the age of information as fans can opt in to a smartphone app that keeps track of concession food, monitor nearby traffic conditions, serve up stats for favorite players, and yes, even crowd source control of those giant hangar doors for keeping the arena at an optimal temperature. Add on top of that a massively huge 4k scoreboard and an entire stadium running completely on solar power, and you’ve got the most uniquely advanced (and greenest) sports park in the world.
The Sacramento arena also isn’t just for sports and plans to keep the doors open as much as possible, even during concerts. In fact, Paul McCartney played Golden1 Center’s first show earlier this month. Ranadivé says the arena can create an experience that allows fans to listen to music even while outside. So whether basketball or a basket-weaving convention, Golden1 Center is a impressive host with some California style.