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Published Jan. 10, 2010
Going multipurpose

In nearly all sectors, the architecture and construction industries have watched clients shift from single- to multipurpose building designs. 

Only professional sports or brand-focused products seem determined to stay off this course – at all other levels, from the college or high-school gymnasium to the local church, downtown office building, corner retailer, and neighborhood home, users are turning to open, modular structures able to meet an ever-changing variety of applications and needs. 

This multiuser movement reflects several strong driving forces: 

  • Multiple and diverse user groups needing facility access.

  • Changing consumer participation trends and demographic interests, mixed with rising competition among and for audiences and finicky consumer spending.

  • Lofty consumer, user, and stakeholder quality/service expectations.

  • Infrastructure concerns at several often-conflicting levels: technology, accessibility, sustainability, durability, affordability, aesthetics.

  • Heightened revenue production needs, often coupled with dwindling donations and pressure to contain building budgets/operating costs.

  • Tightened stakeholder oversight.

Multipurpose facilities satisfy these points by allowing owners to do more with less. Such buildings provide greater flexibility with fewer long-term commitments.

This movement results in some ironies. Despite its multipurpose design, the building must still:

  • Provide the ideal environment for the subject to connect with and satisfy its audience, no matter how different these subjects/audiences might range from one day to the next.


  • Deliver the consumer's demand for a high-quality, authentic experience. 


  • Exceed all anticipated creature comforts, so that audiences will enjoy and desire participation and attendance.

  • Satisfy all user accessibility, safety, and security needs without raising consumer concerns or interest.

  • Deliver positive cash flow without lowering anyone's expectations.

Bottom line, the structure must play a positive role in the success of its user, no matter the user or its purpose. The structure must secure this relationship on a cost-effective basis for all concerned.

To achieve these results, efforts must start with the hiring of an architectural and interior design firm experienced in multipurpose design. Such an innovative, resourceful team adds value by identifying and creating opportunities while still in the building's development and design process to reduce structural operating and management costs while maximizing potential usage and revenue benefits. 

Sparks Reed is just that team. With more than 50 years of professional experience, the executives behind Sparks Reed have drawn countless kudos for their ability to help clients identify project needs, build a stakeholder consensus, and deliver a sustainable landmark valued for generations. They utilize a proven system backed by cutting-edge technology and strong relationships in the materials and construction industries.

Co-founders Gary Sparks, David Reed, and Jill Selman started Sparks Reed in 2011 with a strong track record in architecture and interior design, their clients ranging from churches and memorials to commercial buildings and sports facilities. Sparks Reed has since built on that tradition. Several Tulsa and Oklahoma City area high schools boast of SR-designed stadiums and arenas. Oral Roberts University and the University of Central Oklahoma tout SR-crafted fields and support structures. Multiple Tulsa area automotive dealerships attribute their efficient, sparkling showrooms to Sparks Reed's skills. Other SR highlights range from law office, service center, and corporate headquarters renovations to public parks and commercial district traffic generators. 

Through all these efforts, Sparks Reed earned a reputation for finding creative solutions to difficult situations. Its team achieves this by listening to client needs and desires, studying their operations, and crafting efficient, cost-effective designs that embrace both long-lasting technologies and rich traditions. By delivering what a client needs to become the very best they can be, Sparks Reed principals have completed large and small public and private projects totaling more than $500 million, with many, many more underway. 

Imagine what they can do for you.

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