Next Gen E-Sports Arena

Next Gen E-Sports Arena

Vinculando la realidad virtual a la realidad física a través de la arquitectura: Next Gen E-Sports & Gaming Center

It [gaming] brings with it new challenges not only for society but also for architecture. Soon we’ll have to respond to this social novelty through specialized and flexible spaces to give the virtual world and virtual society a physical space that fits its needs. – Samuel Figueroa Colón, 2016

Designer: Samuel Figueroa Colón
Thesis Committee Director (s): Arch. Brigida Hogan & Arch. Federico Bares
Location: Dr. José N. Gándara Park,  Hato Rey, San Juan,  Puerto Rico
Completion Date: May 2015
TOS [er]: Marcos G. Santana
Posted: May 2022

About Next Gen E-Sports Arena & Gaming Center:

Video games, since their inception, have had the reputation of creating antisocial (sometimes violent) individuals unable to adequately interact with society at large. In recent years, various studies have proved the opposite. Gaming culture as well as the communities that have risen because of it are incredibly social. The fact that they are primarily based on virtual interaction, rather than conform to traditional expectations of socialization, does not make gaming a lesser art or social endeavor.

Every year, gaming becomes more a prominent player in the global economy, especially in the rapidly shifting world of entertainment. Due to its innovative use of virtual space, connectivity as well as acoustic, equipment and seating needs, the field of architecture is facing a nascent new type of facilities. These new centers should be designed to address the need for play and large scale regional and international competitions and events. The Next Gen E-Sports Arena answers this call, blurring the line between virtual reality / relationships and our real-world interactions by serving as “… mediator of both recreational activities, while providing an innovative space for society to carry out new activities and ways of socializing on an urban level” (Figueroa, S.).

[Keywords: gaming, virtual reality, socialization, community, entertainment, flexible, architecture]

Project description:

  • E-Sports gaming arena as  an urban  social and recreational space for virtual sports and other events/gatherings.
  • The  intervention  revitalizes  an underutilized  park  by  attracting people from the local community  as well as housing regional, national and international gaming events. 


  • Respond to gaming demographics through specialized and flexible spaces. 
  • Bring attention to how gaming is a common part of the cultural zeitgeist in the 21st century.  
  • Create a social and entertainment space that accommodates both “gamers” and the  general  public.
  • Effectively  link between  the virtual  gaming reality to our physical realm  through architecture.  


  • Study gaming’s global economic, social, and cultural impact and its evolution. 
  • Analyze gaming culture demographics and conducts. 
  • Inspect existing spaces that accommodate gaming activities (e-sports and otherwise) and sport structures.

Design Strategies:

  • Stadium designed in opposite manner to traditional stadiums. Instead of having the audience look towards the center of the stadium they will instead be seated there and look towards the periphery of the space, the walls, where the E-Sports competitions shall be presented. This creates a multi-focal space that attends different the points of views of the activities.
  • LEDs on the inverse side of the walls broadcast the competition to those in the park and neighboring areas.  
  • The second level of the building is meant for physical activity and serves as a structured extension of the park. 

Project Program: 

  • First Floor 
    • Electronics Store
    • Restaurant and Café
  • Second Floor 
    • Continuation / connection with Dr. José Gandara Park  
  • Third Floor
    • Video Game Activity Rooms
    • Game designer and E-Sports PR Office
    • Reception and Work Cubicles and Meeting Rooms
  • Fourth Floor
    • E-Sports Stadium

TOS [er] Reaction: 

As a subject for a thesis, the gaming industry stands out as an uncommon demographic to attend. Usually when one thinks about a thesis they think of suburbia, historic preservation, urbanization, among others, but gaming never even crosses the mind. As a future architect and gamer myself, I have grown to appreciate the architecture within games and how the real world aesthetic very much influences the virtual one. Never did I contemplate that the inverse effect could occur, how gaming could affect architecture and not only that it could occur, but that it should. With how much gaming is part of people’s lives with each passing day, creating spaces to accommodate such activities is a reasonable and necessary conclusion, one which I think Figueroa Colón addresses well in his Next Gen E-Sports Arena.

Exterior Perspective

Concept Diagram

Process Diagrams

Floor Plans


Interior Perspectives