The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas (ICCLC) as a recent recipient of the 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award.  

Now in its eighth year, the award program, presented by the Copper Development Association Inc., recognizes North American buildings that demonstrate the exemplary application of copper and copper alloys. This year, 12 projects were honored across three categories: renovation/restoration, ornamental applications, and new construction. The ICCLC was awarded in the new construction category for its innovative use of copper for the building’s façade.

When the City of Irving lost its bid to build a new, modern stadium for the Dallas Cowboys, the Irving Convention Center was introduced as a re-imagined 100,000-square-feet (9,290 m2 ) entertainment palace covered in 150-tons (136 tonnes) of milled, perforated copper panels. Architect Studio Hillier selected copper for the building’s façade because it is a natural, light-weight and low-maintenance material. The façade was installed as mill-finish copper, which means that the raw "red" copper surface will go through a long process of patination. Within weeks of installation, the project had already begun to darken in areas, and within a year, the whole building had a deep, bluish-brown patina. This natural process is a result of the temperature, moisture, and pollution in the air, which causes the material to darken, and eventually change to greens and blues.

The design is also unique in that at first glance, the material seems impossible. From a medium distance, the metal surface seems to float in space, because the circular shapes are pieced together via slight "bridges" or connecting sections of copper. The effect is that from a near distance, the copper circular sections of the perforation appear to float, offering transparency and illusion.  

"We had a distinct opportunity with the design and construction of the ICCLC to create a new icon for the destination that would set a standard for a new category of gathering places,” said Maura Allen Gast, ICVB executive director.  “The copper-clad facade is more than just a design element. It also sets a new standard for sustainability.” 

The ICCLC project is LEED certified for its integration of sustainable principles and generative design.  The no-maintenance material translates into lower costs for the center, eliminating the need for painting every few years to maintain its

appearance.  In addition, perforations in the copper skin provide an important role for energy efficiency, allowing for built-in

shade while using the natural currents of the wind to create a cushion of cooling air between it and the building, decreasing

the need for air-conditioning while in essence, shading itself.

The trusses of the massive 4000-ton steel structure were designed so that they could be sourced domestically.  Irving based A. Zahner Company was selected as the Sheet Metal Contractor, and much of the steel came from recycled sources nearby in North Texas and Oklahoma.

 View additional 2015 winning projects here


Located where Highway 114 and Northwest Highway meet in Irving’s Las Colinas area, the $133 million, 275,000 square-foot, and architecturally stunning, Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas (ICCLC), takes a bold new direction in a landscape of traditionally “institutional” facilities. Its distinctive design and mission for top-quality service mirrors the sense of quality that exists in Irving’s 12,000-acre Las Colinas development. Visit or connect with the ICCLC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for latest news, upcoming events, and more information.


The North American Copper in Architecture Awards recognizes and promotes North American building projects for their outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys. The awards program showcases a wide range of projects, all of which highlight craftsmanship, attention to detail, and architectural vision. Historically, copper has long been used because of its great natural beauty and finish, its performance and durability, and its long service life and recyclability. Today, copper remains a superior building material, adapted and utilized for a wide variety of contemporary and cutting edge applications.