Gould Evans Announces Completion of New DeBruce Center at the University of Kansas

Facility provides a permanent home for The Original 13 Rules of Basketball

Kansas City, MO, Lawrence, KS – May 13,, 2016 – Nationally-recognized architecture and planning firm Gould Evans, together with the University of Kansas, is pleased to announce the completion of the DeBruce Center, located on the University’s campus in Lawrence, Kansas. The 32,000-square-foot building is a multi-dimensional experience of the university’s rich basketball history, and a permanent home for the historical two-page document on which, in 1891, James Naismith outlined “The Original 13 Rules of Basket Ball.”

The DeBruce Center is a transformational addition to Allen Fieldhouse, which is considered one of college basketball’s most historically-significant and prestigious buildings.

Gould Evans’ design of the DeBruce Center responds to the University’s need for an environment that welcomes visitors and the KU community pre-game, post-game, and throughout the year. The design subtly integrates two distinct programs – an interpretive center for The Rules and a student commons – allowing the story of basketball to unfold at multiple scales and to multiple audiences.

A linear pathway winds through the soaring interior of the DeBruce Center, along which the story of The Rules and the subsequent development of the game are strategically arranged, taking visitors on a historical journey that culminates in Allen Fieldhouse. The pathway connects many features inside the new building including:

  • Cutting-edge multimedia exhibits exploring the history of KU basketball

  • 200-seat dining commons for students and visitors

  • 60-seat mezzanine available for private events

  • Gift shop featuring KU Basketball memorabilia

“I love the open-space design of the building and think it will provide a great venue for Jayhawk fans to gather before and after games,” said Paul DeBruce, the lead donor of the DeBruce Center. “It also will be an attractive and welcoming place for KU students, faculty and visitors throughout the year.  The design succeeded in bringing together the display of The Rules with the dining and meeting needs of the KU campus.”

One of the most compelling features of the new building is how the more than 45,000 words of today’s modern rules of basketball, engraved in an aluminum scrim which covers the connector bridge, “wrap” around the display case for the original 451-word historical document. This offers visitors the unique and intimate spatial experience of being enveloped by thousands of words, and a way to physically experience basketball’s evolution over 125 years. In addition to the aluminum scrim, a refined material palette of structural glass and honed black concrete highlight the design simplicity of the DeBruce Center, which serves to reflect the simple, yet powerful origin of The Rules.

“One of our design challenges for this project was finding a way to make the DeBruce Center stand out, while acting as a background to the historic Allen Fieldhouse to which it connects and The Rules document contained within,” explained Kelly Dreyer, Project Designer with Gould Evans. “The simple form, transparent façade and reduced material palette allow the building to integrate with the campus during the day, its surfaces reflecting the patterns of trees and adjacent campus buildings. At night the building glows, revealing the activity within and inspiring curiosity from passersby.”

KU alumnus David Booth of Austin, Texas, purchased the Rules in December 2010, and subsequently donated them to KU, creating the catalyst for a new building to properly house them.

“The design of the DeBruce Center enables a seamless link from historic Allen Fieldhouse to the exhibit of The Rules of Basketball while providing a new retail and dining experience for the KU community,” Booth said. ”I see the building as a bridge from the traditions of the past to the energy of the present.”

The Rules were installed in the DeBruce Center today, May 13. This milestone completes the exhibits, which are now open for public view.

Media: Gould Evans architectural staff are available to provide media tours of the DeBruce Center and elaborate on the design. Images also available upon request.

About Gould Evans
Gould Evans’ award-winning designs are recognized for their specificity to people and place. Our diverse portfolio of architecture stems from a design process that starts with the client’s goals. We share a passion for regional architecture and design that positively impacts our communities. To learn more, visit

About the University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. The university's mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.

About the Donor
Five years after graduating from KU’s School of Business in 1973, Paul DeBruce founded DeBruce Grain, Inc., and served as Chairman and CEO until the company was sold in 2010. For more than three decades, Mr. DeBruce led a team of more than 600 dedicated employees that built DeBruce Grain into an international, industry-leading agricultural and grain-trading firm.  In 1989, Mr. DeBruce established The DeBruce Foundation, which works to expand opportunities for individuals and to act as a catalyst for innovative projects that solve problems faced by our community and our country.

Gould Evans Media Contact
Megan Krtek

KU Media Contact
Curtis Marsh