gould evans creates a permanent home for the original 13 rules of basketball
 

gould evans creates a permanent home for the original 13 rules of basketball

 

a hybrid of museum and student commons, the debruce center at the university of kansas, designed by gould evans, creates a permanent home for the historic two-page document on which, in 1891, james naismith outlined the original 13 ‘rules of basketball’ — today’s basketball rules span 153 pages and 45,576 words.

gould evans debruce center
between the exterior scrim and the building is a new ‘pocket park’ where students and basketball fans can gather
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing

 

 

gifted to the university of kansas, the rules document became a catalyst for a new $12 million, 32,000 sf facility. the debruce center needed to be more than just a game day attraction, however, as the university desired a building that would provide more student commons space to serve its campus throughout the academic year. gould evans responded with a design that weaves together the two distinct programs — an interpretive center built around the concept of the rules, and a student commons — allowing the story of basketball to unfold at multiple scales and to multiple audiences.

gould evans debruce centerAt dusk, the building is silhouetted against a front-illuminated metal scrim
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing

 

 

using the rules document as a point of departure, the architecture focuses on the creation of an immersive experience to tell the story of the university’s role in the development of the game. the debruce center’s program is arranged along a linear pathway that winds through the open interior, connecting the story of the rules and all of the building’s programs — including a 200-seat dining commons for students and visitors, nutrition center for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, coffee shop, museum store and exhibits.

gould evans debruce center
basketball exhibits and commons spaces are arranged along a wandering path
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing

 

 

the building consists of two main volumes: a three-story transparent prism within which exhibit and path are delicately suspended, and a single-story bridge connecting the building to the historic allen fieldhouse arena where james naismith perfected the game. within this bridge, the original 451-word document is enshrined by a perforated scrim containing the more than 45,000 words that make up the contemporary rules of the game, offering visitors a way to physically experience basketball’s evolution over 125 years.

a continuous aluminum ramp winds its way through the soaring interior
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing

 

 

a refined material palette of structural glass and honed black concrete highlights pedestrian movement within a transparent and overlapping building program. aluminum provides a substrate for marrying architecture and museum content — a continuous aluminum ramp weaves the exhibition together while perforated aluminum scrim walls wrapping the space where the rules document is housed pay homage to its author and other significant figures in the history of the sport.

exhibits exploring the history of basketball are integrated with the architecture
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing


a palette of structural glass, aluminum and honed black concrete highlights pedestrian movement
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing


the rules document is centered between the existing athletic fieldhouse and the new student dining commons
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing


excerpts from the contemporary rules of basketball are engraved in the aluminum plate
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing


the building form extends toward the campus core
image © steve hall, hedrich blessing


section and elevation vignette of the bridge
image © gould evans

 


floor plans © gould evans

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: peter corboy | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,172 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample