University of Southern California Heritage Hall Renovation
Design Achievement - At the center of the University of Southern California (USC) campus lies the heart of Trojan athletic tradition – Heritage Hall. Opened in 1971, Heritage Hall served as the home of USC's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for more than 40 years. DLR Group's design for the modernization enables USC to celebrate both the rich history and future excellence of its athletic tradition. The 2-story main lobby of Heritage Hall is now a light-filled Hall of Champions featuring a Spirit of Troy exhibit space celebrating the multiple NCAA Championships, Heisman Trophy winners, Olympians, legendary coaches, student athletes, and achievements of USC's 21 athletics programs. The lower level, accessible only to student athletes and athletic department staff, features a lounge for Women of Troy student-athletes, a new rowing room with 35 indoor ergometers, a new golf simulation lab with a virtual indoor driving range and a 6-hole putting green, and other spaces that support student-athletes and greatly assist in recruiting.
Scope Summary - The scope of work for this project entailed a completed renovation of the existing 70,000 SF building that relocated existing services and provided new spaces for athlete programs. The 2-story museum lobby and athletic department offices on the first and second floors were renovated to feature floor to ceiling windows and views to practice fields and campus. The renovation added offices for USC athletic administrators and coaches, a sports performance center, and a dedicated television studio with a direct feed to the Pac-12 Network. The addition of skylights throughout the corridors and internal spaces of the lower level allow natural light to penetrate the space. An outdoor plaza was enhanced with decorative paving, a fountain, and on-grade skylights. An existing ancillary building was converted to a conference room and lounge, complete with a catering kitchen. DLR Group provided planning, architecture, and interior design services.
In order to update the historic façade, the bronze tinted glazing was replaced with a clear structural glass system, leaving the historic colonnades intact. The Heritage Hall renovation project also enhanced the outdoor plaza spaces surrounding the building by providing all new decorative paving, updated plantings, a water feature, comfortable lounge/dining furniture and modernized on-grade skylights. An existing ancillary building was converted to a conference room and lounge complete with upgraded finishes, a catering kitchen and indoor fireplace. Noble Plaza, located on the east side the building, serves as the front door of Heritage Hall to the heart of campus. Wood Plaza was re-envisioned to provide an outdoor gathering space for the campus and connection to the recruit path to the John McKay Center.
The design completely transforms the spatial experience using a new, sophisticated materials and color palette of wood, tile, and glass. All new FF&E modernizes spaces with timeless integrity, creating an environmet that’s comfortable, and which frames all new environmental graphics and exhibit pieces that celebrate USC Trojan pride. New glass and transparecy harvest daylight, while light-colored and reflective surfaces help spread quality light throughout spaces.
Heritage Hall’s new experience is established at the main entry through the Hall of Champions, where a dramatic new “championship ring” (at once classical and modern) form changes the opening between the first and second levels into a frame for the new exhibit gallery beneath it.
DLR Group’s project design partner (branding experts Advent) produced this video about how the new spaces honor and showcase 125 years of USC athletics excellence and the Trojans’ “Fight On” spirit.
Resources and amenities for today’s student athlete
The lower level of the facility is only accessible to student athletes and sports staff members using a secure biometric access system. In addition to housing student and staff locker rooms, the lower level includes the coach’s offices for the Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Rowing, and Tennis teams. These offices are located within a single suite to encourage interaction and camaraderie amongst the various programs housed within the facility. They are also branded using their sport-specific imagery and bold graphics to clearly direct guests to the appropriate office.
Unique spaces aimed at attracting future talent are also located in the lower level.
A spa-like female athlete lounge featuring a kitchenette, multiple flat screen televisions and an adjoining quiet room is the first of its kind in the country. A television studio, developed with assistance from the USC’s School of Communication and Journalism, is equipped with an editing room and a direct feed to the Pac-12 Network. A film room provides a dedicated area for the university to host visiting NFL scouts.
One of the most talked about amenities in the new Heritage Hall is the golf simulation lab. The lab’s virtual indoor driving ranges allow the golf team, and sometimes fun-seeking administrators, to select and play over 550 courses from around the world. The room also features a 6-hole putting green, repair area, offices and juice bar with in-house nutritionist. The rowing team enjoys its own workout room with 35 indoor rowing ergometers and a state of the art audio system.
The lower level also boasts a large team meeting room with surround sound and large flat screen monitors for reviewing game footage, as well as the Operations area which houses a commercial grade laundry facility, repair shop and high density storage units for team equipment and uniforms. An important design feature of the lower level is the addition of skylights throughout the corridors and internal spaces which allow natural light to reach the underground occupants.