A small component of the University of Colorado Boulder Student Recreation Center's 300,000-square-foot renovation and expansion produced some fairly substantial debate.
Should the new outdoor pool that was to complement existing indoor swimming and diving tanks simply consist of lap lanes, as one club swimmer suggested? "I kept arguing that recreation isn't just about sports," says Reed Voorhees, senior vice president at CannonDesign, which handled the renovation with help from Aquatic Design Group and architect of record Davis Partnership. "It's about every student on campus and what can draw those who really aren't that active." The compromise between another rectangular lap pool and a kidney-shaped recreational pool — sketched onto paper by the aforementioned club swimmer — is a pool in the shape of CU's iconic buffalo logo, with bench seating and spa jets located in the hind legs and a front-leg stair adjacent to a wet deck. A basketball goal is permanently anchored just off the buffalo's arched back, and the pool's four-foot depth also accommodates volleyball. Two 25-yard lap lanes run the length of the silhouette. CU recreation officials report that the pool, open since June, has been packed with students, including many who might not otherwise visit the rec center.
This article originally appeared in the August issue of Athletic Business under the title, "Design Details."