Activities and Recreation Center Renovation University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Year in Showcase: 2010
Originally constructed in 1971, the University of Illinois’ Activities and Recreation Center once was the largest such facility in the nation. The architecture was institutional, a building filled with a labyrinth of dark corridors. The facility program was dominated by basketball and racquetball courts, and two pools.
The design of the new ARC has transformed the vintage facility into a showcase of contemporary programming and design. The focus of the design is the “Winter Garden,” which houses the new fitness zone and indoor track. This space also serves as the new organizational spine for this enormous facility of 330,000 square feet. From the “Winter Garden,” virtually every program amenity is viewable. The old rabbit warren of dark corridors has been replaced by dynamic views and a sun-filled atrium filled with fitness and social activities.
The facility includes 12 gymnasiums, indoor and outdoor 50-meter pools, 45,000 square feet of fitness space, a wellness center, a teaching kitchen, an auditorium with 200 seats, a climbing wall and a jogging track. Support functions include a large social zone, space for facility administration, equipment issue, food services, locker rooms and maintenance and storage functions.
The design integrates into the campus fabric with an exterior colonnade and landscaped plaza that spans the entire length of the facility, while enhancing accessibility with integrated ramps, bus shelters and bike storage.
Associate Architect: Hughes Group Architects; Sterling, Va.
Architect of Record: VOA Associates Incorporated; Chicago, Ill.
Programming Consultant: Brailsford & Dunlavey; Washington, D.C.
Construction Cost: $46 million
Square Feet: 340,000
Occupancy: August 2008
Basketball Backboards/Supports: Schelde North America
Cardiovascular Equipment: Life Fitness
Entertainment Systems: Balazs Boxing And Fitness
Flooring, Fitness Center:
Free-Weight Equipment: Power Lift
Strength Equipment: Life Fitness