Little Caesars Arena

ETFE cladded roof with single curved steel rafters
Olympia Development of Michigan
United States
Rob Kohn | The District Detroit

The new arena, future home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons, designed by HOK is located north of downtown Detroit (Michigan), USA. It features a bowl which is sunken 12 m below grade; therefore the arena is blending in with the surrounding neighborhood. The concourse area, located between the arena and adjacent retail and office spaces, is covered with over 4,000 m² Texlon® ETFE cushions on two sides. This will allow fans to feel as though they are in an outdoor promenade with views of the sky, but they are protected from the elements. Knippers Helbig was commissioned by Vector Foiltec to carry out structural design and engineering for the ETFE cladded roof helping to ensure this retail area is active before, during and after games, regardless of the weather. The structure is formed from a series of fabricated single curved steel rafters, with a maximum span length of 35 m, set out on an approximately radial grid within a distance of 3 m. The roof is restrained horizontally on plan at the arena with no lateral restraint at the outer blocks in order to separate the buildings in respect to lateral loads and movements especially in case of a seismic event.