Graham Indoor Practice Facility | Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire
Construction Cost: $21 million
Area / Square Feet: 76,000 SF
Occupancy Date: September 2020

The new indoor practice facility sits comfortably within an extensive and well-organized arrangement of indoor and outdoor athletic competition and practice venues on a secluded edge of campus. At 76,000 square feet and 70 feet in height, the goal was to maximize space for an indoor synthetic turf practice field while minimizing the inherent bulk that a building of this size programmatically requires. Several sites were considered, with the design team ultimately recommending a location previously used as an outdoor practice field called the “sunken garden.” The topography of this site provided an opportunity to lower the building into a natural hillside, thereby offering a pedestrian-scale entry experience in character with the neighboring sports venues. 

To avoid a utilitarian expression typical of pre-engineered structures, a creative use of materials and colors were employed on the exterior to add interest and visual energy. High-density concrete panels of differing hues and textures play off the New England brick used in more traditional campus buildings with a richness that highlights the entry expression. Similarly, metal panels that constitute the remainder of the exterior playfully employ various hues of gray to reflect the kinetic energy of activity inherent to the day-to-day use of the indoor practice facility, while helping to modulate its scale. 

The entry lobby acts as a lantern and magnet at a critical juncture between the building and the athletic district. Transparency brings abundant natural light to a hub of student-athlete activity. At one level above the indoor field, the entry lobby becomes a viewing balcony — a feature appreciated day-to-day, as well as during special events and recruiting sessions. Inspirational, large-scale graphics reinforce the college’s mission of excellence for its athletics programs and student life as a whole.



Watertown, Mass.


Building Systems - Pre-Engineered Structures

Butler Manufacturing

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Scoreboards/Timing Systems


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Lighting

Digital Lumens (Fieldhouse lights only)

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Multipurpose


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Sound Systems

JBL (speaker manufacturer)

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Divider Curtains

Porter Athletic

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Gymnastics Equipment

Porter Athletic

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Wall Padding

Porter Athletic

Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet Partitions

Scranton Products

Locker/Shower - Lockers

Summit Lockers

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Multipurpose

Tarkett Sports