The design for the new Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) highlights its civic role and presence in downtown Louisville. A distinctive colonnade and canopy unify existing and new elements while a new entryway acts as an inviting front porch for the city.
Convention centers tend to be introverted buildings that turn away from their surroundings. For the KICC, HOK collaborated with local partner EOP Architects to create an urban extrovert. The convention center celebrates its central location, using its activity and presence to contribute to the transformation of downtown Louisville.
The project maintained the expansion and programming goals of the client—the Commonwealth of Kentucky—by extending the building’s prefunction spaces over the sidewalks of two prominent downtown streets. These transparent additions breathe new openness and daylight into the center’s interior venues. By day, the building has a sun-dappled interior. At night, the illuminated, airy environment casts a warm glow over the neighborhood.
Because of their scale, convention centers can be difficult to navigate for out-of-town guests. HOK’s Experience Design team made wayfinding more intuitive by simplifying circulation paths and connecting visitors to their surroundings. New signage complements the building’s reimagined architecture and interiors.