Facilities of Merit 2011: University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness CenterIowa City, Iowa
Year in Showcase: 2011
Connectivity and transparency mark the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. As one panelist explained, "While maintaining a unified and strong image on a major campus street, three user groups are clearly separated internally, while interior views connect activity spaces in 'walls' of activity and interest."
Student fitness and recreation occupies the most central location of the three, spread through the north and central portions of the CRWC over a series of three levels that are open to each other. The wellness and recreation administration suites are located in the two-level east portion, while the aquatic center anchors the western portion. The natatorium was particularly lauded by the judges for its iconic dive tower featuring an internally lit spine ("Its detailing and execution are terrific," said one). Home to a competition pool, dive pool and leisure pool — with the latter separated by a full-length glass wall to allow its use during swim/dive team practices, as well as precise control of the leisure pool's higher temperature environs — the space is filled with natural daylight and provides views into and from many other CRWC activity areas.
The effect is much the same on the building's exterior, with the north portion harvesting daylight through what amounts to a series of transparent interlocking "boxes" set on a columnar structural system. The boxes, through which the fitness spaces are visible to passersby, are set in front of a backdrop that houses the aquatic center, gymnasiums, multi-activity spaces and a climbing wall that stands 58 feet tall.
The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has powerful energy within its industrial urban look. The dynamic spaces, views and gestures celebrate everything this building is about.
— Mark Williams
Creative use of a tight site featuring an efficient plan that utilizes indoor glass for an unparalleled amount of interior and exterior transparency. Three user groups are clearly separated internally, while interior views connect activity spaces in "walls" of activity and interest.
— Mark Bodien
The design team was able to take very large programmatic spaces and organize them in a way that is easy to understand for its patrons. There's a high level of openness and transparency that adds a fantastic vibrance throughout.
— Jeff Piette
Project DetailsArchitect: RDG Planning & Design; Des Moines, Iowa
Aquatic Design Engineer: Counsilman-Hunsaker; Lakewood, Colo.
Funded By: Student fees, athletic department funds
Major Facility Components: Natatorium, fitness center, gymnasium, track, MAC, climbing wall, activity rooms
Construction Cost: $51.3 million
Square Feet: 215,000
Occupancy: August 2010
Basketball: Robbins Sports Surfaces
Basketball Backboards/Supports: Porter Athletic Inc.
Bulkheads: Stark Bulkhead Co.
Cardiovascular Equipment: Life Fitness
Cardiovascular Equipment: Matrix Fitness
Cardiovascular Equipment: Nova
Cardiovascular Equipment: Star Trac
Cardiovascular Equipment: Precor Incorporated
Cardiovascular Equipment: Woodway
Cardiovascular Equipment: Stair Master/Schwinn
Chemical Control Systems: Palintest
Chemical Control Systems: Taylor Technologies
Chemical Control Systems: Signet
Chemical Control Systems: BECS Technology Inc.
Cleaners/Vacuums: Aqua Products Inc.
Climbing Walls: Entre Prises Climbing Walls
Divider Curtains: Porter Athletic Inc.
Diving Boards: Duraflex Int'l Corp.
Filtration Systems: Nemato Corp.
Flooring, Aerobics: Robbins Sports Surfaces
Flooring, Fitness Center: Mondo
Free-Weight Equipment: Power Systems
Free-Weight Equipment: Sorinex Exercise Equipment
Gutters: Lawson Aquatics Inc.
Ladders/Grab Bars: Spectrum Scoreboards, Paragon Stair & Rail
Lane Markers: Paragon Aquatics, Div. of Pentair
Lane Markers: Competitor Swim Products
Lockers: Hollman Lockers & Courts Inc.
Lockers: Spec-Rite Designs
Sanitization Systems: Arch Water Products
Sanitization Systems: Stenner Pumps
Sanitization Systems: Flomotion Systems
Sanitization Systems: Hanovia
Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.
Shower/Toilet Partitions: Scranton Products
Starting Blocks: S.R. Smith
Strength Equipment: Matrix Fitness
Strength Equipment: Life Fitness
Volleyball Nets and Standards: Porter Athletic Inc.
Water Play Features: Rain Drop Products LLC
Water Play Features: Dunn Rite Products
Water Play Features: Crystal Fountains