From K-State to the Big Leagues: Architect Reflects on Career and Allegiant Stadium Project

Posted February 09, 2024

Allegiant Stadium

As a graduate of Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning, and Design, Paul Griesemer ’85, AIA LEED AP, associate vice president and project director at HNTB corporation attributes much of his success in his career with HNTB to the invaluable lessons learned during his time at K-State.

When asked about the influence of his alma mater on his career, he emphasized several key principles that have guided him throughout his professional journey.

"Of my many valued lessons from K-State, those which have helped me through my career the most are: Always be open to learning whether it be from a teacher, a peer, or a client. Value others’ experience. Have confidence in yourself and let it show. Learn everything you can about those who will be users of the environments you're creating. What makes their day successful and fulfilling," Griesemer said.Paul Griesemer

These principles have not only shaped his approach to architecture but have also been instrumental in his role as lead architect in several high-profile projects like Allegiant Stadium. 

“I served as the official Architect of Record for the project working with Manica Architecture as the design architect, however I couldn’t be more proud of our entire team that came together for this project,” Griesemer said. “It truly does set a new bar for professional stadiums.”

Reflecting on his favorite aspect of working on such projects, Griesemer expressed profound enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to spaces that cater to a wide range of human emotions.

"What I love most about being part of large sports projects like Allegiant Stadium is being part of creating an environment that will support the full spectrum of human emotion. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and every level of joy in between. Sports stadiums see it all," Griesemer said.

Moreover, Griesemer highlighted the complexity of operations behind the scenes of these stadiums and the fulfillment derived from understanding and contributing to their seamless functionality. Having been involved in several professional stadium openings as the architect, he finds immense satisfaction in witnessing the fruition of the hard work and the seamless operation of the venue.

"There is nothing better than watching the awe and wonder of someone coming into the building you’ve worked on so hard for so long while also knowing the operation is running smoothly behind the scenes," Griesemer said.

For current and prospective students of APDesign, Griesemer offers valuable advice rooted in his own experiences. He encourage students to maintain a curiosity about their surroundings and clients, emphasizing the importance of building strong relationships and exceeding expectations.

"Live with a curiosity about everything around you and in your clients. Focus on building strong relationships and exceeding their expectations. If you do that well, the projects will come on their own," Griesemer said.

With a foundation built on the principles instilled at K-State, Griesemer continues to make significant contributions to the field of architecture, leaving a lasting impact on iconic projects like Allegiant Stadium.