Kovach Enclosure Systems, LLC of Chandler, AZ, recently completed the new exterior “skin” for the Phoenix Suns’ Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix that is designed to make the wall panels look like rippling water when the wind blows and, alternatively, blaze on fire when the sun strikes.

Using 130,000 kinetic, 6 inch by 6 inch aluminum flaps that move independently without electricity, the arena’s 45,000-square-foot new “skin,” or exterior wall panels, are designed to evoke nature. The design architect, HOK, specifically selected the dynamic “prismatic orange” color to resemble fire and elicit the Suns’ winning streaks. Creating a new exterior look for the arena was the capstone to major renovations that have taken place at the Footprint Center in recent years.

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In partnership with the artist Ned Kahn, Kovach engineered the panels in-house and manufactured them along with the frames at their state-of-the-art Chandler facility, utilizing high-grade materials while creatively navigating a tight project budget. In addition to kinetic walls, Kovach cladded the new commissary on the East Paseo with glass and metal panels and updated the glazing at entrances.

“We are life-long Phoenix Suns’ fans. Our team had so much enthusiasm for this project, which is apparent as you walk up to the transformed arena,” said James Hatch, vice president of Kovach preconstruction. “Pride filled the hearts of everyone in our company as we aesthetically prepared the Suns for their next chapter in downtown Phoenix.”

Okland Construction of Tempe served as the general contractor and HOK of Los Angeles the architect. Northern California environmental artist Ned Kahn provided the artistic inspiration. The Phoenix Suns and the City of Phoenix are the project owners. 

“If you have an innovative project and you want to take it to the next level with out-of-the-box ideas and manageable solutions, the best company in the Phoenix area is Kovach without question,” said Matt Richards of Okland Construction.