Kay Bailey Hutchison
Architect of Record
Engineering the vision for the world's largest, column-free exhibition space
Dallas’ convention center is unique in that it has taken a beautiful George Dahl facility, expanded it to create a modern venue, and built upon Dallas’ heritage of strength, innovation, and leadership. The facility and its improvements through the decades underscore the enduring quality of excellence in architectural and engineering design.
Datum provided structural expertise throughout the many expansions and renovations of the convention venue, spanning 5 decades.
Dallas' convention center expansion and renovation in 2002 marked the creation of the largest column-free expansion space in the world at that time. Incorporating the latest in technology and design innovations, leading to award-winning engineering feats. But this was not the first time Datum created world-class structural designs for this venue. In fact, Datum was first brought on the team in 1968 .to design an addition to the Memorial Auditorium and then provided structural expertise for additional renovations and expansions completed in 4 phases over a 5-decade timespan.
Many of the structural decisions made early in the expansion were pivotal choices that impacted all future phases of the project. Of special concern was the need for the facility to span over downtown Dallas streets and adjacent rail lines for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. In total, six roadways and four train lines had to be taken into account.
Foundation issues arose during the third phase of the facility expansion. The foundation became more complex as the building proceeded westward toward the shale found in the Trinity River bottom. Therefore, the east end of the structure is supported on limestone and, as the limestone became thinner to the west, the foundations were drilled through the limestone and founded in the shale. Special testing was required to identify the exact locations for drilling through the limestone.
Key Team Members
2003 AISC Engineering Excellence Awards - Award of Merit
Juror Comment: "The use of large-scale pipe (48") for the primary structure is excellent."
Consulting Engineers Council of Texas - Eminent Conceptor Award (outstanding engineering accomplishment of the year)