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Angled Wall Panels Animate, Illuminate Spartan Rec Center

Paul Steinbach Headshot
[Photos by Kevin Korczyk]
[Photos by Kevin Korczyk]

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, on a college campus that supplies the tech industry with plenty of

graduate talent, San Jose State University's Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center features a design innovation that visually suggests both high speeds and digital interfaces. Cement-fiber boards are bracketed at four different fixed angles to the left and right of the facility's entrance based on computer-generated patterns, lending the illusion that the panels are free to flutter in a motion-induced wake created by the exterior's glazing elements. The angled panels are backed with stainless steel to mask their underside and enhance their reflectivity when illuminating interior curtainwall in pixilated fashion and introducing glare-free natural light to a three-court gym on one side of the building and a MAC gym on the other. "We wanted to come up with a design that still feels very institutional, very stately, and would age well while still taking in the technology of its day," says Gensler associate and project architect Haley Coughlin of the computational design approach. "From an architectural standpoint, it feels like this glass mass is sort of pulling away and leaving a vapor trail behind it. There's this idea of an object in motion, of someone moving forward, of being in an activity while still being contextual to campus and still feeling like a campus building. That was our solution, and we're really excited how it turned out."

Designd421a

 


This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Angled wall panels provide animation, illumination." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.

 

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