Carver-Hawkeye Arena, named after Muscatine entrepreneur and philanthropist Roy J. Carver, commemorates his long-standing generosity to the University. Home to basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and the athletic department’s administration, Carver-Hawkeye plays a role on campus that exceeds its athletic functions. Aside from shifting the center of athletics from the Field House, its 15,560-seat capacity is also used for concerts, public events, and the commencement ceremonies of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Carver-Hawkeye’s innovative design takes advantage of its sloping site and uses the change in elevation to visual and environmental effect. With all but the top concourse level built below grade, the structure achieves significant energy savings. The use of natural light filtering through the glass-block perimeter wall has a similar advantage, as does the exposed-truss system, space-frame roof. This design element creates a notable skyline feature while removing unoccupied structural space to outside the building’s envelope and reducing the interior volume that must be heated. The tent-like central section of the roof— presaging Denver Airport—brings light into the arena during daylight hours. At night, interior light penetrates the glass-block exterior walls that function as a beacon for the approaching crowds. Inside, the building’s polygonal footprint transitions into an oval amphitheater. This building received a 1984 American Institute of Architects Honor Award. In 2004 the Iowa Chapter of the AIA named Carver-Hawkeye Arena as one of the top one hundred buildings erected in the state of Iowa in the twentieth century.
The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.