The Walter Pyramid is a 20-year-old landmark and collegiate sports facility located on the Long Beach State University campus with its structural integrity protected by hot-dip galvanized steel. This facility is a real-world testament to the quality of hot-dip galvanizing’s corrosion protection and the legendary coating durability of its zinc patina.
When life-cycle costing this project in the early 90s, the project's designers took into account a multitude of factors including sustainability, aesthetics, moderate initial costs and prior hot-dip galvanizing experience. The pyramid design required 500 tons of galvanized fabricated tube steel and pipe structures that intricately bolt together, forming an immense internal structure that provides an intriguing framework viewable from any angle within the arena.
The exterior façade of the pyramid is covered in dark blue corrugated aluminum sheets. Each side of the perimeter measures 345 feet, rising a total of 18 stories making it a mathematically true pyramid. It is one of only three in the United States, the others are the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and Bass Pro Shops Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Walter Pyramid is a 5,000-seat indoor multi-purpose sports arena and its primary tenants are the Long Beach State University men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. The facility is also used throughout the year for several NCAA sponsored events and the annual World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships.
Mark Zakhour, Construction Services Manager, at Long Beach State University stated “The galvanized structural configuration has performed flawlessly and there have been no maintenance requirements or operational issues since erection. The building serves as a pinnacle landmark for all of Southern California.”
Cameron Ungar, Associate General Manager, Walter Pyramid-Director of Event Services stated, “In my time at Long Beach State University and the Walter Pyramid, I have submitted work orders for all sorts of building systems and equipment. However, I have never submitted a work order for the building framework. It has been a worry-free building component while also servicing as an awe-inspiring building feature here at the California State University, Long Beach campus."
The magic of hot-dip galvanizing has once again proven its worth, protecting the structural integrity of this architectural masterpiece for many additional decades to come.
AGA Excellence in Hot Dip Galvanizing Lifetime Achievement Award Winning Project