In the early 1990's the Puerto Rican government began a pitch to the international Olympic committee hoping to win the 2004 Summer Games. The games didn't materialize, but the AFICA (Autoridad de Facilidades Industriales) and the AFI (Autoridad para el Financiamiento Infrastructura) decided that the city of San Juan would benefit from a new indoor entertainment venue anyway. After several years of discussion, they commissioned the architectural firm of Sierra Cardona Ferrer of Puerto Rico to design an arena with the flexibility to accommodate a number of different types of events and hold 20,000 spectators. Reynobond® Aluminum Composite Material was selected as the architect's material of choice for the look, color and flatness of the panels, and the strength and proven durability of the material in warm weather conditions.
After many years of planning and six years of construction the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot, named for the renowned Puerto Rican comedian, was dedicated in August 2004. The coliseum's location in the heart of San Juan's thriving financial district was selected to promote future developments in the area, encourage the growth of a healthy night life in the area and to anchor the Hato Rey district between the Coliseo Roberto Clemente and the municipal building Hiram Bithorn. The arena, which is now the largest indoor facility in Puerto Rico, boasts a seating capacity of 18,500 with 22 private suites, 4 group suites, a 1,000 seat club, 4 restaurants, 30 concessions, meeting rooms and a press room. The 450,000 square foot, $252.6 million structure, complies with NBA, NHA specifications as well as ADA, and can be reconfigured in a matter of hours to accommodate events ranging in scope from basketball games, to boxing matches to a three-ring circus.
“Designing a flexible structure that could accommodate 20,000 spectators with optimal visibility of the stage in a major urban area was a challenge,” said Carlos Ojeda of Sierra Cardona Ferrar Architects. “The structure was created with two basic configurations -a central one for major events and a proscenium at the edge of the main axis. The number of seats was maximized in the proscenium layout creating an asymmetrical 'vessel' that rises to the opposite side. The ceiling forms a cylinder section, with an elliptical plan. Its simple structure consists of seven main trusses and, at the north side, support with exposed branch-shaped columns. The treatment of the ceiling, which was designed to visually lighten the massive scale of the building, is emphasized by the clear articulation of the building's other main volumes: the stairs and drum that covers the stand.” The construction of the building, which is visible from different scales depending on the approach, actually helped to solve or mitigate a number of ecological and infrastructure problems in the district, and the sleek, contemporary look provided by the Reynobond® panels ties the innovative design of the coliseo to neighboring structures in the financial district.
Miller Clapperton Partnership, Inc. of Austell, GA, fabricated 47,168 sq. ft. of Reynobond® ACM RB 160, 4mm PE in Champagne Metallic with a PVDF Duranar coating into panels for the exterior façade, canopies and stair volumes exterior cover and some interior elements at the main entrance, and 66,360 square feet of Reynobond® ACM RB 160, 4 mm PE in Saw White with a PVDF Duranar coating into panels for the exterior underbelly of the high roof and exterior of the elevator towers. The Reynobond® panels were installed by GPI Interior Contractors of Puerto Rico. ICA, CU (Ingenieros Civiles Associados, Constructora Urbana) of Mexico was the General Contractor for the first five years of the project with Omega Construction of Puerto Rico served as the General Contractor during the final year of construction.
The Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot was honored with the 2004 Award for Outstanding work in the fields of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering by The Colegio de Ingenieros Y Agimensories de Puerto Rico (the Puerto Rican Association of Engineers and Land Surveyors).