Built Environment Description #2

The Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta was built in 1999. It is a multi-purpose building, holding different events such as concerts to sporting events. It is the home of the NBA team of the Atlanta Hawks and the WNBA team of the Atlanta Dream. It was the home for the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers from 1999 until 2011 when they moved to Winnipeg. When you first arrive to the arena, you are met with an awe inspiring piece of architecture. The entrance is a large, silver canopy that spells the word “Atlanta” with its metal beams. It is very easy to miss due to its daunting size, requiring you to look at it from a distance. Once you walk past the Atlanta architecture, you are greeted by a magnificent statue honoring arguably the best player in Hawks history, Dominique Wilkins. It was crafted with beautiful copper and imposes its presence on you standing at 13 and a half feet tall. The architecture on the entrance and the statue just past it really give an insight into the rhetoric of the building. It builds a sense of community with the word Atlanta at its entrance because when you enter the building, you are entering a piece of Atlanta. The statue of Dominique Wilkins also provides insight into the culture of Atlanta showing how one man has brought the community together through the power of sports, transcending any class or race. Once you actually enter the arena, there are two different atmospheres. The first is one that is completely dead. This would be due to there being no event taking place that night, and it feels like a ghost town. Everywhere you look, it is completely vacant and eerily quiet. However, during nights with an event, it is bumping, literally. You would not be able to meander your way through the crowds without bumping into someone. An overhead look would be comparable to a cattle drive in the old west, or being inside a pack of sardines. Once you find your seats, you are able to get a little bit of your personal space back. However, it is always extremely loud no matter if it is a concert or a basketball game. There are always fans that live up to their names of fanatics, screaming at the top of their lungs and with veins popping out of places you didn’t even know had veins. Your attention is also being grabbed by countless things like the swift gameplay by the basketball players, or the giant sky blue scoreboard throwing video clips at you. The overall atmosphere of an event draws you into the community of Atlanta. Its intriguing to see how one building can provide a place for people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities to come together and share an experience.

Philips Arena Scoreboard

This is the scoreboard that is hanging over the middle of the arena. It is cube shaped with four sides facing the four parts of the arena. It has four LED tv’s on each side that display many different short clips throughout the basketball games. It also has the game clock and scores for each team below the tv’s on all four sides. The structure that holds the screens up are sky blue, after the Philips company colors.

Hawks Game Audio Clip Artifact

This is an audio clip that was recorded during the opening part of the game, right before tip off of an Atlanta Hawks game. As you can hear, it is very loud. The fans are jumping and screaming from excitement for the game. There are also sounds the arena plays like the screech of a hawk that you can faintly hear in this audio clip.

Philips Arena Court Artifact

This is the basketball court inside of Philip’s Arena that is the home court for the Atlanta Hawks. The court is 94 feet in length and 54 feet in width. It has the Hawk’s logo in the center of the floor on top of the half court line. It is colored with the Hawk’s two main colors of red and white, and then their one secondary color of navy blue around the outside of the court.

Dominique Wilkins Statue Artifact

This is the statue of Dominique Wilkins outside of Philips Arena underneath the canopy at the south side entrance. It is placed upon a granite base, with 13 and a half feet of copper on top that. The statue is positioned in the anticipation of dunking because he is considered to be one of the best dunkers to have ever played in the NBA.

Philips Arena Entrance Artifact

This is one of the entrances to Philips Arena on its south side. The architecture is structured in a way that actually spells out the word “Atlanta.” It is about three stories high and about 150 feet long. The gray metal structure provides a canopy as it extends out from the arena and provides shelter for whatever bad weather there may be.