Public Use Projects

ZHA shares a community's pride in its public buildings, which often reflect the culture and expression of the people who designed and built them. When we work on a public-use project, our pride translates into diligence, resourcefulness and excellence, so that a civic vision is achieved. We have helped civic clients on numerous projects as authorized representatives during design and construction. We have overseen projects from pre-design through closeout and occupancy, offering professional support on a variety of tasks. Public use, public pride. We treat a community's vision with the importance it deserves.

Featured Projects


Scottsdale Performing Arts Center
Renovation/Upgrade Planning Study
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts – Scottsdale, Arizona

The City of Scottsdale commissioned ZHA to evaluate and make recommendations on the best ways to update and renovate their 1970s vintage Center for the Performing Arts. This work was necessary to address the needs of the performers and the audience and to remain competitive in the regional market.

After evaluating the existing conditions of the facility, ZHA led several visioning sessions that included key stakeholders and the public to capture and define the goals of the project. These visioning sessions led to the development of alternative plans and cost estimates with associated benefits and issues.

The final, recommended plan included a complete renovation of the existing 830-seat theater, reconfiguration of the adjacent 150-seat theater, inclusion of an educational component, addition of public spaces, relocation of the art gallery and addition of offices. The final plan, with all phases complete, is estimated to cost $30,000,000.

Northland Church
Church Expansion Program
Northland, A Church Distributed – Longwood, Florida

ZHA provided construction phase owner representative services for the $38 Million expansion program to Northland Church's existing church campus. Our services included construction oversight, budget tracking and updating, schedule monitoring, permit tracking and change analysis. We assisted with the procurement and interface of other specialty systems vendors for network communications, security access control, theatrical lighting, sound, video and projection. Themed set designs and interior scenic elements were also integrated within the building programs.

While maintaining existing church operations, the improvements being implemented include a new 3000+ seat sanctuary with balcony, adult classrooms, new administration and children education facilities, café & bookstore, plus warehouse and storage facilities. A new two-story 18 classroom Sunday school building with meeting room & baptistery was constructed including new remote and on-site surface parking for over 1,700 vehicles.

Orange County Historical Museum
Historic Building Renovation
Orange County Historical Museum – Orlando, Florida

A team of designers, specialty consultants and the construction manager came together under an aggressive schedule to renovate this courthouse, built in 1927, and turn it into a county historical museum. The project required coordination with numerous historical permitting agencies.

A significant project challenge involved renovation of two historic courtrooms that housed antique murals and original woodworking. Designers modified the interior to allow for a two-story exhibition space. Also important to the success of this project was the reconstruction of a grand staircase that served as both the entry and hallmark feature of the facility. The original south face of the structure, demolished in previous expansion projects, was returned to vintage style and proportions.

Orange County Convention Center
Convention Center Expansion – Phases I-V
Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, Florida

The Orange County Convention Center opened in 1983 with approximately 177,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting room space. Four years later, the convention center began second phase expansions adding a combined 345,856-square-feet, more than doubling the size of exhibition space and meeting rooms. ZHA provided owner's representative services for the first two expansions and prepared the master plan for the further development of the site that would be necessary to keep Orlando competitive as a major convention destination.

ZHA continued as general consultant for expansion Phases Three and Four, managing design and construction. Phase Three added 383,400-square-feet of exhibit space, 146,216 square feet of meeting room space and a 2,643-seat theater. Phase Four was completed in 1996, bringing the total square footage of exhibition space to 1.095 million and meeting room space to 313,140 square feet.

The Center currently is one of the 10 largest convention centers in the United States. More than 5.4 million convention delegates have visited the center in the last 15 years. The Phase Five expansion, completed in 2003, has doubled the size of the existing facilities.

Building Restoration
Building Restoration/Renovation Project
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Rehearsal Complex – Orlando, Florida

Orlando's first water and electrical plant, built in the 1920s, once housed electric generators and water pumps. Renovated as the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, it has been transformed into an innovative rehearsal complex for Orlando's opera, ballet, jazz, and theater companies. The 70,000-square foot interior provides a variety of spaces, including rehearsal halls, teaching studios, box offices, meeting rooms, and company offices.

ZHA was responsible for all service contracts during the design and construction phases. The building restoration was funded through local and state grants, private corporations, and citizen contributions.