NEW NAME NEW LOOK
When North Carolina's NBA team brought the Charlotte Hornets' brand back to life in 2014, they tapped Kansas-based design-build firm Dimensional Innovations to reinvent their old locker room.
The space was previously branded Charlotte Bobcats' blue and orange and needed a holistic renovation for the new brand. Led by Executive Creative Director, Jeremy Williams, the project required a total reconstruction including major changes to the layout, materials, branding and interiors.
IN SEARCH OF STYLE AND SANITATION
Dimensional Innovations' primary goal was to create a space that met the hygiene and style requirements of the team, blending function, durability and cleanliness with outstanding design and brand integration.
"The challenge of this project was meeting these high expectations," Williams said. "We needed to bring the new brand into the space while making sure it met strict health standards. There's a renewed emphasis on the cleanliness of locker rooms. Coaches and players want spaces that are sanitary without looking cold and sterile; they want hygiene and luxury."
Common locker room materials don't prevent germs from spreading, an issue the Hornets wanted to address in the remodel.
"Typically, lockers are made out of painted metal, hardwood or laminate," Williams said. "These are easily worn out and can harbor harmful bacteria in small dents, scratches or chips. We decided to avoid these materials in this new facility."
The team also wanted a contemporary design to display their new brand.
"We needed to bring in branded logos and really showcase the Charlotte Hornets' dark purple and teal team colors," Williams said. "At the same time, we didn't want the elements to clash or overwhelm the occupants."
NEW NAME, NEW LOOK
Williams and his team designed a space that reflected the team's identity using state-of-the-art features and materials to create a clean, inviting environment. HI-MACS® solid surface material in Alpine White was integral to bringing this vision to life.
Dimensional Innovations partnered with Shield Casework, a Missouri-based fabrication studio, to create the final pieces for the space. Shield Casework's patented process for folding, assembling and adhering solid surface material results in products that are extremely durable.
"Alpine White created a bright, airy atmosphere that seamlessly integrated the Hornets' brand into the space," Williams said. "We used HI-MACS solid surface material in wet areas for showers, towel storage and cubbies, as well as for cabinets, countertops and lockers."
Dimensional Innovations and Shield Casework also etched the Charlotte Hornets logo into the solid surface material to fully integrate brand and space.
The soft, snowy hue provided a neutral backdrop for the custom lighting throughout the locker room.
"The white responds well to the lighting features," Williams said. "The walls, ceiling and even lockers have custom lighting that changes color. Alpine White helps balance the colors and prevents them from looking too harsh."
PERFECT PROPERTIES FOR DURABLE DESIGN
HI-MACS solid surface material offers a range of qualities ideal for high-traffic areas and unique, three-dimensional projects.
•The seamless, nonporous surface does not have holes or crevices, which prevents harmful bacteria and mold from growing and spreading.
•With strength similar to that of natural stone, HI-MACS solid surface material does not scratch easily and has a high resistance to stains, heat and chemicals.
•Thermoformable properties allow HI-MACS solid surface material to be heated, shaped and molded into three-dimensional structures for a variety of applications.
A NEW LOCKER ROOM STANDARD
The Charlotte Hornets' franchise was more than pleased with the results.
"The team loves it," Williams said. "It's exactly what they were looking for, checking off all of their requirements and then some."
Although Dimensional Innovations has a heavy focus in the sports industry, they had never done a project like this before.
"This was our first project using solid surface material to form lockers," Williams said. "We will definitely continue working on similar projects in the future. The hygienic benefits and thermoformable properties of HI-MACS make it perfect for this application."
Williams believe the success of the project will have a far-reaching impact.
"The job was a huge achievement," he said. "It set a new bar in locker design, and that bar is very, very high."