Moody Center, Austin, TX
Moody Center, Austin, TX

Award-Winning Arena Featuring ALPOLIC Transforms Austin's Entertainment Scene

August 15, 2023

In Austin, a new multi-purpose arena has won over the crowds. The Moody Center, a $375 million cooperative venture led by Oak View Group, began welcoming concert goers in April of 2022. Designed by architects at the Austin office of Gensler, the Moody Center is the new home of University of Texas Longhorns basketball, and the 15,000-seat arena also hosts all kinds of live entertainment.

University-based venues not only serve the needs of faculty and students but their respective surrounding communities. With state-of-the-art acoustic design, the 530,000 square-foot arena was designed first as a music space – one with the capacity for hosting sporting events. Stadiums and auditoriums nurture fellowship among those coming together to enjoy a shared interest. Such a design, too, should harmonize with the style of surrounding campus buildings, presenting a cohesive link from the school’s foundation to its future.

Moody Center, Austin, TX Photography by Chase Daniel for MCA-ALPOLIC Division

Meticulously planned, award-winning design

Among the materials used in the creation of this project are 67,000 square feet of ALPOLIC/fr metal composite materials in three custom finishes, fabricated and installed by KSC, Inc. ALPOLIC MCM features prominently on the Southwest Gate entrance and on the fascia of the arena’s eye-catching roof, in a custom dark bronze finish. Paired with the building’s other materials, the MCM helps with maintaining the consistency of design from the exterior to the indoor concourses.

While creating a dynamic visual, the fin sunshades also help reduce direct solar exposure and assist in energy performance in this LEED Gold certified project. In a feat of clever engineering, the attachment system for the fins is partially hidden by the MCM paneling. It’s a design that requires precision and expertise only possible by established fabricators like KSC, who were called in early for design assistance.

“The challenge there was we had to come up with a way to mount those fins behind the MCM panels,” explained Vince Neault, business development manager at KSC. “So we designed a kind of a unique U shaped mounting bracket that had to be positioned exactly between the joints to coincide with the width of the panels.” In a remarkable testament to the precision of KSC, Neault describes his tolerance levels required plus or minus 1/32 of an inch. The team laser scanned the building throughout the construction process and produced BIM models and mockups. “That was critical. That whole process was very very tricky.”

In addition to ensuring the fabrication company could produce quality, exacting work, the general contractor AECOM Hunt also needed to confirm that KSC could meet a hard deadline. The entertainment venue had started to book shows before construction was completed and KSC ran 24/7, in multiple shifts, to get panels fabricated and in place before the first concert. “We went in with a commitment. The blood that flows in our veins is get it done.”  Neault hopes to translate the success of the Moody Center into more stadiums and entertainment venues in the future. 

For Neault, having the right people and the right technology is important, and so is making sure you have the right product. At KSC, ALPOLIC metal composite materials are the first choice. An industry veteran, Neault declares, “In all my years in metal panels, I've had zero failures with all ALPOLIC. With these very critical projects, we don't go anywhere else. It's that simple. The product line is tremendous. And the service is great.” With an industry-leading warranty, ALPOLIC stands behind their product like no other. 

Moody Center, Austin, TXPhotography by Chase Daniel for MCA-ALPOLIC Division


A new cultural center for the city of Austin. 

The size and scope of the Moody Center, though monumental, feels intimate and approachable. Warm wood tones and crisp metal paneling ebb and flow in the interior and exterior. Murals from local artists energize the walls, and private clubs and lounge create intimate interludes amongst the ruckus excitement on the arena floor. The curves and staggering levels create a sense of movement around the facility. Wrapped in a large expanse of glass, it allows an abundance of natural light to come in and for the attendees to enjoy a sense of connection with the downtown Austin cityscape. 

Transforming the entertainment scene in the live music capital of the world, the event space at the Moody Center has customizable capacity for a variety of venue needs. With meeting spaces, classrooms, plazas for tailgating and more the arena acts as both a resource to support the mission of the University of Texas and as a muti-faceted destination for the greater community. The arena presents an inviting environment through its main design elements and has won the attention of major events and world renown entertainment.  From the Austin Gamblers PBR team to this year’s CMT Music Awards, visitors are offered an immersive experience.

Architectural experts have sung the praises of the Moody Center, noting the beauty and resilience of its design built on a hillside, which takes advantage of the uneven terrain to accommodate multiple entrances for better crowd movement. The arena features upscale concessions on the main and upper concourses, and multiple levels of seating, including private luxury suites and loge boxes. A 7,000 square-foot terrace on the arena’s west side offers panoramic views of downtown Austin and enchanting lounge seating for guests. 

Since opening to the public, the Moody Center has received a host of honors and certifications, including:

  • 2023 Metal Architecture Design Awards - Judges Award, Smooth Metal Wall category
  • 2023 AIA Austin Design Award of Merit
  • 2023 Architizer A+ Awards - Finalist, Stadium & Arena
  • 2023 Austin Statesman Best of Austin Community’s Choice Awards nominee
  • 2022 TEXO Award - Specialty Contractor Exteriors category
  • Named a Top Venue for 2022 by Billboard Magazine 
Moody Center, Austin, TX
Photography by Chase Daniel for MCA-ALPOLIC Division

MCM A Top Choice for Hospitality And Entertainment Design

High-profile entertainment facilities like the Moody Center require safe and durable materials to maintain their appearance for years. MCM can stand up to the traffic with a beautiful look that lasts. ALPOLIC /fr, one of the most fire-resistant products available, is manufactured to ensure compliance with fire codes worldwide. This, paired with the best warranty in the industry and an infinite range of color options, makes ALPOLIC the ideal choice for cladding high-capacity venues.

To learn more about the versatile specialty applications of MCM and fire safety considerations, contact the ALPOLIC sales representative in your area. Request samples of our finishes and let our wide range of colors inspire your next design.

Photos: Chase Daniel

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