Honorable Mention

Design Team Member(s)
Jeff Lusin, Architecture Team – Architect, 45 ArchitectureAaron Overstreet, Architecture Team – Project Manager, 45 ArchitectureStephen Sefton, Partner Architectural Team – Architect, Perkins & WillTyler Hinckley, Partner Architectural Team – Project Manager, Perkins & Will
Project Description:
Lambert Field Improvements created an artificial turf, multi-purpose sports and recreation field, accompanied by a support facility with a spectator venue, to the outdoor sports field complex on the Montana State University Campus. The existing fields complex is located on the west end of campus and is used for student recreational sports including soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee, and flag football, as well as community activities and camps. The site is adjacent to many primary student housing dormitories, a dining hall, graduate / family housing, and off campus housing, thus making the area a hot spot for pedestrian foot traffic and recreational activities. The site is also a high-profile area as it is adjacent to Lincoln St., which is a critical arterial street onto campus, as well as an access road for neighboring residences and local businesses. Within the sports field complex an artificial turf field was desired by the Montana State University Club sports teams and the student population. The field is sized for multiple NCAA regulation sports to use the facility year-round, which provides valuable space for outdoor activities and practices when the rest of the fields are covered with snow. MSU recreational teams including rugby, lacrosse, and soccer, will use the facility for practices which once had to be scheduled on other shared fields used by other sports programs. This field and venue also allowed for the club sports teams to host larger tournaments and play against more competitive teams, boosting the University program profile and recruitment. The support facility houses two team changing rooms, public restrooms, training and first aid, sports storage, and field maintenance storage. The facility also has a large exterior canopy area that is used for large gatherings and provides shade and shelter to students and spectators. The facility acts as a hub for all the recreational fields in the complex, providing central and convenient access to amenities every day for athletes and students. The field and facility uniquely use the site by strategically manipulating the landscape to create a berm venue with informal seating around one end. The landscape berm on the west end gradually turns into a raised building plaza and stepped spectator seating. The seating and covered plaza are centered on the mid field axis for optimal viewing, event hosting and central access location. The support building is nestled into these elements making it an extension of the site. The venue is equipped with state-of-the-art field lights that provide even light quality on the field for high performance play, while providing a facility that can be used more hours in the day, improving scheduling. The lights are outfitted with technology that ensures a high light cut off on the perimeter so as not to disturb the neighbors and the University’s highly regarded Optics Program, which conducts experiments that involve night sky studies.

Program Requirements:
Provide an artificial turf field that can accommodate NCAA sanctioned sports and events for the University men’s and women’s club teams of Soccer, Rugby, and Lacrosse. The field is also to be open to the student population and the public for general use. The venue should be able to accommodate 500 seated spectators, with possibilities to accommodate 1,500 spectators informally. A support building is required to serve the new artificial turf venue, and to be a hub for the rest of the fields complex. Program for the support building is to include: – an outdoor covered area for gatherings, events, and shade; – public restrooms that are open daily for general use at the fields complex; – team changing locker rooms for home and visitor teams; – first aid training room and officials changing room for hosted events; – separated indoor storage space for each team for convenient access to equipment during practice and events; – field maintenance storage garage for field plow and tractor, and other items needed to maintain the complex. Provide field lighting so the venue can be used late into the evening, improving scheduling, and providing longer activity time for students.

Sustainability Goals:
The artificial turf field replaces 114,300 square feet of existing irrigated sod, that now requires zero watering needs. The reduction in water usage for this field complex on a yearly basis was substantial, as well as reductions to maintenance costs and staffing requirements. The field lights selected have new technology that uses LED bulbs and reflectors to concentrate the light down to the field, and significantly reduces glare and light pollution. This was highly important to the University to minimize the light on neighboring properties while also preserving the experiments being conducted by the acclaimed Optics program. The lights also have programmable dimming settings that can be used depending on the level of play scheduled. During practice and general use the lights can run at 60% capacity saving energy and reducing light pollution. The color temperature of the lights were highly researched, and were coordinated with the University of Arizona’s leading research departments on the subject matter, to achieve a color temperature that reduces glare coming off the field and still provides sufficient light levels for lacrosse, which requires higher light levels to illuminate the smaller, fast moving lacrosse implements. Creating berms around the facility allowed to keep a lot of excavated material on site reducing the amount of off haul trucking. The mechanical heating system was designed with temperature controls in separate rooms. These controls can be set on timers and schedules and have sensors to monitor exterior conditions. This creates a more efficient building as areas that are not being used as often can be shut down to minimum levels.

Design Solutions:
Through master planning with the University architects and planning department, as well as with the associated user groups and student body president, a design solution was created for a venue that: – integrated into the campus, connecting high pedestrian access to the facility and surrounding campus program by strategic access points and site locations. – responded to the natural environment by creating natural berm perimeter and integrating the venue seating and building into the landscaping. – Created a central hub facility that can be easily accessed from all other fields on the site – Provided lighting solutions that were respectful to adjacent properties and university experimental science programs, while giving a venue that will improve the campus life of students and athletes. – Created an architectural feature and venue at a high-profile access point into the campus, representing the University’s progressive design aesthetics and passion for student activities and athletic support. – Design of overhanging roof canopies to provide shade and protection from unexpected elements. – Provided a covered plaza area that is flexible to integrate into the venue seating, and host a variety of events that are sports and academic based. – The long linear floor plan design to allow for controlled access on both sides of the building, making it functional for the turf field and the other fields in the complex. This also allows for the recreational sports department to close certain areas of the building while still providing public access to others, limiting maintenance and staffing needs.

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