Wisconsin Urban Wood featured in new arena
The sports and music fans experiencing Fiserv Forum in its first month of operation have been in awe of its upscale interior design, state-of-the-art amenities, and commitment to local sourcing. Materials used for the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks were selected to represent Wisconsin’s rich past – a legacy of wooded landscapes and industrial manufacturing. Wudeward Urban Forest Products was honored to work with Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) to supply Wisconsin Urban Wood to the arena as it carves its own place in history.
“Urban wood was without question the perfect fit for this project,” says Jackie Posselt, senior interior designer for EUA. “The Fiserv Forum’s materials needed to be rooted in items from Wisconsin that tell a story of importance and sustainability.”
Oak Tree Re-imagined
The Northwoods inspired the design team when they were developing the look and feel of the concourses, but all Jackie envisioned was a sturdy white oak tree. Sourcing Wisconsin Urban Wood would add texture, warmth, and character to the spaces, and it would fulfill two other design missions. First, Wudeward could guarantee the white oak lumber came from trees that once lived in the Milwaukee region and the state of Wisconsin. Second, the wood came from trees that were removed due to storm damage, health, or construction, and instead of going to waste, were repurposed into something beautiful and functional.
“Even though it is inherently sustainable because it was diverted from the landfill, reclaimed wood can come from anywhere,” says Jeremy Hackbart, senior project architect for EUA. “Wisconsin Urban Wood and the repurposed white oak have direct ties to the local community and state.”
EUA worked with Wudeward to source nearly 20,000 board feet of urban white oak lumber that was used to make bar ceilings, concession fronts, and harvest tables on the main and upper concourses. The oak was installed in random widths to showcase the natural deviation of grain, knots, and clarity from one board to the next. The application spreads throughout the space in an homage to the massive shade tree.
“As patrons walk the concourses, wherever they are in the building they are in view of this product, which is kind of cool,” Jeremy says.
Wudeward also upcycled Wisconsin Urban Wood for a dramatic 18-foot backdrop EUA developed as the main feature in the exclusive BMO Club. The BMO Club is a private event space located near the tunnel where players enter the court. Guests enjoy a lounge-like atmosphere before taking their seats courtside to watch the game.
Wudeward helped EUA work within the constraints of nature’s inventory to determine the best options for the material and finish. After exploring several avenues, the team landed on cherry, walnut, and maple Wisconsin Urban Wood end grain pieces that were upcycled from a fireplace mantel production. The pieces were machined into 3.5-inch squares with varying depths and installed as a larger-than-life mosaic. The result is a visually stimulating tone for the high end bar.
“We want all the fans that come through the doors to understand the story and message the wood sends, which is, we need to be good stewards of the environment,” Jackie says. “Milwaukee cares about its natural resources and has a long manufacturing history. I feel this is our new manufacturing.”
See the application in action by watching this Green Tier video.