In July, the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion opened, reshaping the landscape of event hosting in Indiana. Spearheaded by Schmidt Associates architects, engineers, construction administrators, and interior designers, this cutting-edge building has quickly become a cornerstone of the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ facilities offerings, including 196,000 SF of flexible, multi-purpose space.
From Swine Barn to Versatile Marvel
The original Swine Barn was only a roof and floor, occupied for only two weeks per year. Recognizing the value of the facility location and a need for additional venue space, Indiana State Fair leadership hired Schmidt Associates to assess the original building and create a plan that preserved the essence of the space and transformed it into a year-round, modern event space.
Flexibility in Design
The Pavilion is designed to accommodate various events throughout the year. The structural grid was spaced to accommodate an entire NCAA competitive racetrack. The structure’s height accommodates collegiate basketball and volleyball, and 20 20-foot, high-volume, low-speed fans mounted 23 feet off the finished floor provide air circulation for livestock events. Specialized HVAC and engineering systems, sophisticated energy-saving lighting, and natural light are included throughout the facility. Plumbing, data, and power are also designed to be accessed throughout the facility floor, using the column grid as critical access points, allowing distribution as needed across the event floor. In addition, the entire facility is broadcast-ready, allowing for NCAA events, the Mecum Auto Auction, and other live television to be seamlessly accommodated. For loading, unloading, and people management, all four sides of the facility include grade-level access points, keeping visitors safe and allowing for quick setup and teardown. Its flexible design has proven invaluable by hosting diverse events such as the Indiana State Fair swine competitions, the annual Junior Achievement of Central Indiana JobSpark event, and the Mecum Fall Special Auto Auction. Other upcoming events include the National Swine Registry shows in 2024 and 2025 and USA Track and Field events.
A Hub of Connectivity
More than just an event venue, the Fall Creek Pavilion is a linchpin in the State Fair’s plan to manage all facilities at the Fairgrounds. Its expansive walls include essential services, including facilities and maintenance shops, a personnel office, a clinic, and a police station. This integration of services enhances convenience for employees and fairgoers alike and allows the fair staff to keep the Indiana State Fairgrounds safe and beautiful year-round.
Safety and Innovation in Livestock Handling
While the facility does many things well, the original building occupants—Indiana swine—are accommodated throughout the work. The large overhead doors on the south and east make loading and unloading much more accessible. Air conditioning, abundant power, and wash bays keep people and swine comfortable and looking their best. Separate specialized exhaust systems, designed for seamless switching between livestock and other events, make the space comfortable for all users. Event separation of the public entry from the event floor enhances biosecurity and livestock wellbeing.
With its flexible design and innovative features, the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion demonstrates Schmidt Associates’ dedication to transforming spaces into dynamic, multi-purpose assets. From hosting cultural events to providing essential community services, the Fall Creek Pavilion has become a hub of activity year-round in Indiana. As it continues to host diverse events, the building will exemplify the limitless possibilities that arise when architecture meets adaptability.
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