Orange County Fair and Events Center

Main Mall and Hangar Events Center

Costa Mesa, CA

The Main Mall at the OC Fair and Event Center was completely re-designed by ATI Architects so that the 2 acre outdoor, exhibit/assembly space enhances the ambience created by the newly constructed and re-modeled surrounding event buildings, also designed by ATI.

The mall paving is a combination of colored concrete and pavers that form a circular pattern with a playful fountain at the central focal point. Since the fairgrounds were developed on the site of a World War II Army Air Base, the long axis of the mall is paved to represent the feel of an airport landing strip with flush-mounted, solar-powered lighting in a linear pattern leading towards the theme building at the south end of the mall. The 450’ length of the mall is laterally divided by three meandering forms that provide a visual path-like link between the building entrances on either side of the mall. The outdoor space is further enhanced with a series of shade planters and ‘green’ walls that provide a cooling, park-like effect to the multi-use mall.

The Hanger Event Building is a spectacular 32,500 sf structure with a 180’ wide arch span. The building is utilized for large audience events, performances and exhibits. The building includes a 45’ clear height main hall, a catering kitchen, meeting rooms and public restrooms. The doors to the mall bi-part to provide a 25’ high by 72’ wide opening that allows the facility to expand into the adjacent outdoor mall and therefore increase the occupancy by tenfold.

Anodized aluminum panels define the structural arch, entries and planters, focusing attention on the form and its massive, triple-height sliding doors. The flanking entries provide an intimate scale and open-frame canopies and “green walls” enliven the central volume and its wings. The standing seam roofing and corrugated metal siding coloration break down the visual mass of the building into playful parts. The entries, roof and arch plinths reiterate.

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