• 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: California State University Northridge Student Recreation Center

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    Situated on the outer fringe of the CSU Northridge campus between future sports fields to the east and existing campus buildings to the west, the site of this new recreation center provided an opportunity for the building to delineate a new campus edge to the community, while establishing a terminus to the campus' main pedestrian axis. Utilizing this singular position, the east façade is comprised primarily of glass, creating a "human billboard" that reveals the activities within and addresses the university's desire to advertise the recreation programs provided by the university. It's the west façade that really caught the judges' attention, however: The three-story lobby is protected by a perforated metal veil that allows the introduction of light and maintains visibility of activities, but reads differently depending on the time of day. Commented one judge, "It's monolithic and solid by day, providing a continual play of shadows as the light changes, and transforming in the twilight to a transparent vision - a building in flux."

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: Brant Sports Complex

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    AB's panel of judges found a lot to love in this small public ice complex in Paris, Ont., beginning with its advantageous use of a constrained but sloping site to allow players and spectators to enter at different levels at either end of a two-story glazed gallery. Initially viewed as an obstacle to arena design, the site's constraints were eventually embraced as offering an opportunity to reduce the mass of the building and to celebrate the activity taking place there. Running the entire length of the arena's north façade, the resulting gallery creates an architectural billboard by using ample glazing and fritted glass graphics that together broadcast activity to the surrounding community.

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: University of Massachusetts Amherst Recreation Center

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    Prominently sited along the university's main thoroughfare, this recreation center project centers on a public concourse that extends through the building and reaches out to the east in the form of a new landscaped quadrangle, thus creating a link between campus athletic and academic facilities. Inclusion of the new quadrangle reflects the university's commitment to a pedestrian-friendly campus and speaks to a perceived paucity of high-quality outdoor space offering opportunities for relaxation, informal recreation and socializing.

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: University of Central Missouri Student Recreation & Wellness Center Renovation and Expansion

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    It's a complicated renovation and addition, involving co-locating two programs within three formerly separate historic stone buildings on a tight site fronting a campus quadrangle, but the solution is actually quite simple, said AB's panel of judges. Wrapping the 1938 Morrow gymnasium so that the new structure bridges the gaps between that building and two other older buildings, the plan transforms the Morrow gym by inserting a new fitness mezzanine and expands a contemporary image to the east with a new addition. The addition was by far the most notable element, the judges said, with the new, gleaming curtainwall becoming a complementary element to the perpendicular, textured stone building on its flank. "It's all about the height, the scale and proportion of it," remarked one judge. "It really celebrates the historic buildings, and that clear juxtaposition of what was new and what was old made it a very exciting project."

  • New Projects: St. Mary's University, Florida State, University of Nebraska

    by Emily Attwood October 2011

    In a partnership with Bexar County, Texas, St. Mary's University has begun construction on the $15 million Outdoor Sports Complex.

  • Why Public Rec Center Renovations Must Be Done Right

    by Michael Popke September 2011

    On Dec. 19, 2009, the staff and patrons at the Lynnwood (Wash.) Recreation Center threw a party. After all, it would be the last time everyone could really celebrate for awhile

  • Staggered Courts Help Make Gym Less Boxy

    by Andrew Cohen September 2011

    It's difficult to avoid the big box of the gymnasium becoming a really big box, particularly when the building plan includes three basketball/volleyball courts laid side by side, the three rectangles creating one very large rectangle.

  • Recreation Services Should Be Convenient for Customers

    by Carrie Haupert-Fullerton August 2011

    We work when other people play: That's our business. Rec services need to be convenient, and it should be convenient to do business with us.

  • Air-Destratification and Dispersion Technologies Enhance Heating and Cooling Efficiencies in Large Interior Spaces

    by Paul Steinbach June 2011

    About eight years ago, Xcel Energy of Colorado paid a visit to the Longmont headquarters of Avedon Engineering, a custom manufacturer of injection-molded plastics.

  • New Projects: North Richland Hills; TCU; Auburn University Montgomery

    by Nicholas Brown April 2011

    Following Texas Christian University's undefeated football season that ended with a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, a $105 million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium began on the Fort Worth campus.