Northwestern University Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center


2019 Merit Award


Evanston, IL


Northwestern University



Landscape Architects


Project Details

Northwestern University’s Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center is one of the most versatile practice, competition, and recreation venues in the nation. The Fieldhouse is home to the University’s football and Olympic sports practice. The consolidation of athletic facilities on the main campus allows for direct adjacencies for these programs, and a new sports medicine and athletic training center.

The University, pinched between the City of Evanston and Lake Michigan, required an innovative solution for their sports and recreation needs. SmithGroup designed three synthetic turf fields to be used by their athletic teams, and for intramural and club programs. The new complex was designed to prevent stormwater from traveling to city storm sewers. As such, SmithGroup integrated green infrastructure practices including infiltration vaults, water quality treatment structures, and bioswales, enhancing the natural hydrologic cycle. The curved coastal wall allows the building to withstand the dynamic waterfront conditions. 

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