Facilities of Merit 2006: Boston University Fitness & Recreation Center and Agganis Arena

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Boston University Fitness & Recreation Center and Agganis Arena

Boston, MA 2006
Year in Showcase: 2006

Project Description

The key to reducing the street front scale of this massive dual facility — an 800,000-square-foot colossus — was through breaking up the volume into distinct forms. As a result, neither the recreation center nor the arena imposes upon passersby, according to the judges. In addition, the facility fits nicely within the surrounding John Hancock Student Village, a dense concentration of diverse facilities serving 30,000 Boston University students.

The rec center and arena are linked by a central space that, in the words of one panelist, is “appealing” and “welcoming.” This three-story rotunda featuring walls of glass on its upper two floors provides expansive views into a variety of activity spaces — such as the climbing wall occupying a two-story space at the center of the main lobby.

Meanwhile, the intimate Agganis Arena boasts steeply raked seats all located within 60 feet of the playing surface.

Judge's Comments

The composition allows the arena and the fitness center to sit comfortably next to one another, each retaining its own image without sacrificing function or aesthetics.
— Anita Moran

As an organizing element, the grand stair surrounded by fitness equipment works well.
— J. Thomas Seymour

A wonderfully executed, complex project. Nice design continuity between the diverse spectator, athletic and recreational components.
— Michael Woollen

Project Details

Architect: Cannon Design; Los Angeles, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Washington, D.C.; Victoria, B.C.
Aquatic Design Engineer: Counsilman•Hunsaker; St. Louis, Mo.
Funded by: Student fees, donations, bonds
Major facility components:

Fitness & Recreation Center — Aquatics center, fitness center, multipurpose activity court, four-court gymnasium, four-lane walking track, four multipurpose rooms, four racquetball and two international squash courts, 35-foot climbing wall.

Agganis Arena — Twenty-nine private boxes of varying capacities, each equipped with wet bar and theater-style seating; 5,600-square-foot club room; home-team locker suite and visitors suite; student-athlete lounge; sports medicine area; and video screening room with theater-style seating.

Construction Cost: $194 million
Square Feet: 843,000
Occupancy: January 2005 (arena) April 2005 (Rec Center)

Aerobics Flooring: Connor Sports Flooring

Arena Seating: Hussey Seating Co.

Basketball Backboards/Supports: Porter Athletic Equipment

Climbing Walls: Rockwerx

Dashers: Athletica

Divider Curtains: Porter Athletic Equipment

Fitness Center Flooring: Mats Inc.

Fitness Center Flooring: Mondo USA

Floor Finishes: Connor Sports Flooring

Flooring: Dal-Tile Corp.

Free Weight Equipment: Hoist Fitness Systems

Free Weight Equipment: Precor Inc.

Free Weight Equipment: Intek Strength

Ice Rinks Dashers: Athletica

Lockers: Republic Storage Systems Co.

Pool Bleachers: Hussey Seating Co.

Pool Bulkheads: Stark Bulkhead Co.

Pool Chemical Control Systems: Chemtrol, Div. of Santa Barbara Control Systems

Pool Filters: Neptune-Benson Inc.

Pool Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.

Pool Starting Blocks: Paragon Aquatics, Div. of Pentair

Scoreboards/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.

Stair Climbers: Precor Inc.

Stationary Bikes: Precor Inc.

Strength Equipment: Precor Inc.

Strength Equipment: Nautilus Inc.

Strength Equipment: Hoist Fitness Systems

Surface: Anderson Courts and Sports Surfaces Inc.

Surface: Desso DLW Sports Systems

Swimsuit Dryer: Extractor Corp.

Treadmills: Precor Inc.

Wall Padding: Porter Athletic Equipment