U.S. Naval Academy Wesley Brown Field House
Annapolis, Maryland
U.S. Naval Academy
Wesley Brown Field House
Annapolis, Maryland

Performance. It’s at the intersection of the military and athletics. The Midshipmen represent the best of human performance. We set out to create a proper living monument to this commitment to performance. It is more than a place. It is a representation of our country at its finest.

LCDR Wesley Brown, CEC, USN (1927-2012), was proud of the field house named in his honor. The first African-American Midshipman to graduate from the Academy, he served his country from 1944 to 1979. In 2008, the Naval Academy dedicated its new facility for athletic programs to LCDR Brown. The 140,000-square-foot, multi-function athletic facility provides a state-of-the-art venue for intercollegiate athletic competition – creating a showcase for televised Naval Academy-hosted athletic events.

The Vision

Intercollegiate and club athletics are a key component of the Academy’s core mission, which promotes the physical development of Midshipmen. Wesley Brown Field House was programmed to serve as an event venue for indoor track and field and volleyball, in addition to a practice facility for football, basketball and lacrosse. To allow for this level of flexibility, the field house contains a hydraulically banked 200-meter track and a full-length retractable artificial turf football field. The facility also captures the spirit and character of the neighboring Beaux-Arts buildings throughout the Yard and the Academy’s sailing fleet, docked in the Santee Basin along the building’s north façade, by providing sturdy concrete and masonry walls, juxtaposed with delicate glazing.

The Design

Founded in 1845 and named the United States Naval Academy in 1850, the institution has grown from 10 acres to 338 on a site along the confluence of the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. Intercollegiate and club sports are key components of the Academy’s core mission of promoting he physical development of Midshipmen. The charge from the U.S. Navy was to design a structure that would house these athletic activities while at the same time capturing the spirit and character of the neighboring buildings, and creating a dynamic image along the waterfront where the Academy’s sailing fleet is docked. Sited on the south shore of the Severn River, the property is flanked on the south and west by two Beaux-Arts buildings designed by Ernest Flagg on the historic Yard.