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The Wisconsin Center

Downtown Milwaukee’s state-of-the-art convention facility, is a design-build project which highlights GRAEF’s expertise in innovative structural design. The building is three levels and covers a four-square-block area. The third level exhibit space is large enough to hold two 747s airplanes or 550 city buses and is accessible to semi-trailer trucks for loading and unloading of exhibit materials.

The design group, collectively known as D.4 Associates, consisted of GRAEF; Affiliated Engineers, Inc.; Engberg Anderson Design Partnership; and Thompson Ventulett, Stainback & Associates. The construction team of Clark/Hunzinger completed the design-build team.

Constructed on a landfill site, the Wisconsin Center uses a mixed structural system of cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, and steel to support an excess of 350 million pounds. The exhibit hall is designed to support a live load of 350 pounds per square foot. Additionally, part of the exhibit hall spans 140 feet over a ballroom, making vibration analysis critical. The roof is a long span structure containing 14-foot deep trusses and spanning up to 180 feet.


  • ACEC WI – Engineering Excellence, Honor Award
  • WRMCA – Best of Region
  • WRMCA – Best Municipal Project
  • Wisconsin Concrete Masonry Concrete Trowel Award
  • DBIA Best Public Project ( National award)

Other Projects

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Museum of Wisconsin Art

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Caterpillar Heritage Building

Mukwonago YMCA_Header

Mukwonago YMCA

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City of De Pere VFW Aquatic Center

McCormick Place

McCormick Place Expansion


Brown County Expo Center Redevelopment


Milwaukee, WI


Project Data

$170 Million Project Cost
700,000 Square Feet


GRAEF Services

Structural Engineering

The Wisconsin Center Contact

Market Area Leader - Sports & Recreation
President & CEO