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Norfolk Scope

Norfolk Scope is a cultural, entertainment, convention and sports complex in Norfolk, Virginia, comprising an 11,000-person arena, a 2,500-person theater known as Chrysler Hall, a 10,000 square foot-exhibition hall and a 600-car parking garage.

The arena was designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the (now defunct) local firm of Williams and Tazewell, which designed the entire complex. Nervi's design for the arena's reinforced concrete dome derived from the PalaLottomatica and the much smaller Palazzetto dello Sport, which were built in the 1950s for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Construction on Scope began in June 1968 at the northern perimeter of Norfolk's downtown and was completed in 1971 at a cost of $35 million. Federal funds covered $23 million of the cost, and when it opened formally on November 12, 1971, the structure was the second-largest public complex in Virginia, behind only the Pentagon.

Featuring the world's largest reinforced thinshell concrete dome, Scope won the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects Test of Time award in 2003. Wes Lewis, director of Old Dominion University's civil engineering technology program, called it "a beautiful marrying of art and engineering." Noted architectural critic James Howard Kunstler described the design as looking like "yesterday's tomorrow."

The name "Scope", a contraction of kaleidoscope, emphasizes the venue's re-configurability and while initially the name chosen for the entire complex, has come to refer primarily to the arena component. The facility logo (right), which features a multi-colored, abstracted kaleidoscope image, was designed by Raymond Loewy's firm Loewy/Snaith of New York.

(Wikipedia)
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