The adaptive-reuse Plant Riverside District isn’t the only large-scale project to recently make a splash in what’s arguably Georgia’s prettiest, most walkable city.
About two miles southwest of River Street, on the banks of Savannah’s Springfield Canal, Enmarket Arena celebrated its one-year anniversary last month as a modernized, versatile facility replete with architectural and interior design nods to The Hostess City’s past.
Designed by Perkins & Will, in partnership with Atlanta-based Goode Van Slyke Architecture, the 149,000-square-foot Enmarket Arena counts 9,500 seats for a variety of events, including AA-level hockey and concerts.
The project is considered a milestone in Savannah’s Canal District Master Plan—and a "road map to revitalizing the historic Canal District and driving economic growth in this long-isolated African-American community,” according to Perkins + Will representatives.
In its first year, the arena attracted hundreds of thousands of ticket-buyers for live entertainment events and games featuring the Ghost Pirates, Savannah’s new ECHL hockey team, according to project officials.
In terms of design, the arena’s large exterior terraces aim to take advantage of Savannah’s warm climate while providing unique spaces for events. A variety of clubs, restaurants, bars, and concessions areas are located throughout.
Perkins + Will reps with the firm’s Atlanta studio summarized in a project spotlight for Urbanize Atlanta how Enmarket Arena’s interior designs aimed to echo Savannah’s natural conditions and famed historic architecture in creative ways. For instance:
- Lobby stairs were inspired by the historic steps connecting River Street to Bay Street, about two miles away in downtown Savannah;
- Haint blue, a traditional Southern color palette used to ward off evil spirits, was introduced as a color accent;
- Ceiling and light elements are meant to resemble Spanish moss and light filtration through tree canopies;
- Carpet and floor patterns in the arena mirror the cobblestone of River Street.
Closer to Atlanta, Perkins & Will’s notable recent projects include the sweeping, $85-million new Morrow High School in Clayton County, and Georgia State University’s basketball arena/convocation center/and concert hall in Summerhill.
Head up to the gallery for a closer look at Savannah’s popular new canal-side events venue.
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