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18 acres; downtown, opposite Bell Auditorium

Index to Projects in Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Gross Floor Area
193,000 s/f

Augusta / Richmond County Coliseum Authority,
Augusta, Georgia

Time Frame
Planning: 9/75–
Construction: 4/77–
Completion: 4/80

Augusta / Richmond County
Civic Center

Augusta, Georgia
Completed 1980


Lead Designers:



Henry N. Cobb
Charles T. Young III


Convention and entertainment center

Click on image to enlarge

The design of Augusta's Coliseum focused on structure and circulation with the ultimate goal of urban revitalization. To create a 1.9-acre column-free interior, a steel space-frame was wrapped around the space, forming the roof and walls of the new arena while providing a coherent frame for the diverse functions staged within. Permanent seating for 9,000 is supported by a structurally independent concrete grandstand, supplemented by 3,000 collapsible chairs on a telescopic platform; a retractable basketball court increases flexibility.

A split-level circulation system provides easy access to the arena (11 feet below grade) and also to the lobby (9 feet above) without the need for escalators. Service areas encircle the main space, with a large triangular exhibition hall on the south, flexible meeting rooms and support on the lower concourse, and on-site surface parking for 1,000 cars (overflow in an adjacent garage).

The Coliseum was rotated off the street to engage an existing auditorium in civic dialogue across the resultant plaza. Located four blocks from the commercial center (where Broad Street Mall was simultaneously underway) it was part of a master plan to invigorate Augusta's failing office-retail center. The project was undertaken to enhance the city with spirited public spaces, a major public building, and the significant social and commercial activity surrounding the Civic Center's many events.


Major Components

90,000 s/f arena (211' x 109' x 66'); 23,000 s/f exhibition hall; 20,000 s/f exhibition floor; retractable staging platform and 120'x 61' basketball court; 4,000 s/f meeting rooms (7); public plazas (2)


I. M. Pei & Partners services

Site Selection; Master Planning; Architectural Design; Graphics; coordination with associate architect on construction documents and construction administration


Associate Architect

Holroyd, Johnson, Hughes, Beattie & Davis, Augusta, GA



LeMessurier Associates, Cambridge, MA



Cosentini Associates LLP, New York, NY


Lighting / Theater

Jules Fisher & Paul Marantz, New York, NY



Photo credits

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