Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Renderings Released for Convention Center Expansion

District board releases final design of expanded Wisconsin Center.

By - Mar 6th, 2020 10:00 am
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Wisconsin Center expansion rendering. Rendering by Eppstein Uhen Architects and tvsdesign.

Wisconsin Center expansion rendering. Rendering by Eppstein Uhen Architects and tvsdesign.

We now know what expanded Wisconsin Center will look like.

The Wisconsin Center District released renderings Friday morning of the up to $425 million expansion that would double the amount of space in the 22-year-old convention center.

The expansion is being designed by a partnership of Eppstein Uhen Architects and Atlanta-based tvsdesign.

The final design would add 112,000 square feet of space to the exhibition hall, creating a 300,000-square-foot hall. A ballroom would be included in the expansion with a minimum of 30,000 square feet of space and a seating capacity of at least 2,000. A total of 24 meeting rooms would be added to the building.

While the building’s first phase was focused on W. Wisconsin Ave., the expansion would also give the building a front door along W. Kilbourn Ave. A rooftop deck overlooking W. Kilbourn Ave. and N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. would be included.

The existing portion of the building that straddles W. Wells St. would get a new facade, intended to harmonize the 1998 portion’s derivative German style with the proposed glassy addition.

A waterfall, visible from the street, is planned for the northeast corner of the building.

“Other design elements include modernizing the existing facility’s interior, creating a cohesive feeling between the current and new facility; building new employee locker rooms, break, training, and briefing rooms; adding gender-neutral bathrooms, quiet rooms and nursing mother’s rooms; and creating outdoor patio spaces. The new facility will also include a centralized Visit Milwaukee Visitor Center,” said the district in a press release.

The design replaces conceptual renderings released in 2018. Neither batch of renderings has shown the N. 6th Street facade, which is currently where the loading docks and a winding ramp are located.

The board discussed the design and financing plan at its Friday morning meeting. We’ll have a full update later today.

For more details on the project, including the general contractor, financing plan and timeline, see our coverage linked below.

Newly Released Renderings

Earlier Renderings

Current Building

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More about the Wisconsin Center expansion

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