Garland Independent School District Curtis Culwell Center
Garland, Texas
Garland Independent School District
Curtis Culwell Center
Garland, Texas

Celebrate. Perform. Work. Worship. One building to do it all. Today’s buildings often serve more than just one purpose. They must be flexible, designed to serve the many needs of the people who use it while visually representing the heart of the community.

When Garland Independent School District visionaries decided to build the special events center in Garland, they knew it would have to serve the public year-round. The doors opened in 2005, and now nearly one million people come together every year for family-oriented events. Events in this venue touch the lives of so many in the community. Proud parents inspired by graduations, outstanding arts and athletic performances; captivated audiences forever changed by inspirational music and words; motivated employees encouraged by new product launches and businesses; families united by religious celebrations – this facility and its uses make a significant difference in the Garland community.


The Vision and The Design

The Curtis Culwell Center was designed to meet the school district’s need for a modern multi-use facility to accommodate graduations, sporting events and district-wide conferences. The facility’s two main components, a 7,000-seat arena and a 25,000-square-foot  conference center, are designed to function independently and in conjunction with one another.

The building form solves the challenge of programmatic function and the need to create a cohesive whole by using a variety of opacity and transparency design options. The main roof’s gently arcing form serves two purposes: by juxtaposing it against the sweeping glass, the sense of movement is enhanced while at the same time serving as a unifying element to tie programmatic functions into a single form. The large projecting canopies reinforce and extend the building’s horizontal expression.

The building’s dynamic form is further enhanced on the interior by expressing and celebrating its structural skeleton through the use of tree-like columns and colored LED lighting on the interior and exterior.


“Our building has quickly become an architectural icon for north Texas.”
|  Dr. Curtis Culwell, Garland ISD Superintendent   |
“This is a unique concept. Garland’s is a model showing how these facilities serve a need in the district and also have a business rationale for operating at a profit.”
|  Don Hancock, Director of Development, IAAM   |
“Not even in our most private and candid conversations did we expect it to be this successful financially.”
|  Dr. Curtis Culwell, Garland ISD Superintendent   |