Charles Benson Bear

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Charles Benson Bear

Grinnell, Iowa 2012

Project Description

Consistent with Grinnell College's liberal arts curriculum and philosophy of an open and all-inclusive culture, the Bear Center is shared by varsity athletes, students, faculty and staff members, and community residents. At first pass, the gym and pool pavilions appear to be two separate buildings with a grassy knoll separating them. The two pavilions actually reach out to one another with their dramatic cantilevered entry canopies. The large roof overhangs and canopies dramatically emphasize the horizontal planes and de-emphasize the verticality of the larger volumes behind.

The glass-curtainwalled entry lobbies wrap the larger-volume brick "boxes" housing the activity space. In a similar manner, the lobbies look out across the lawn at each other, almost as if to invite the other to visit. While the pool and gym are physically separated at street level, they are connected at the field level by way of an underground link.

The area between the gym and field house serves men's and women's intercollegiate teams with locker suites, sports medicine facilities and equipment-issue spaces at field level, and athletic department offices directly above at street level. Above the offices are two classrooms used for physical education, as well as for team meetings. During football games, these rooms serve as special function areas with views down to the football field. Other activity spaces located between the main venues include three racquetball courts, a multipurpose/dance room, an auxiliary gym, and a climbing and bouldering area.

Project Details

Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; New Haven, Conn.
ARCHITECT OF RECORD: Sasaki Associates Inc.; Watertown, Mass.
AQUATIC DESIGN ENGINEER: Counsilman-Hunsaker; St. Louis, Mo.
Construction Cost: $81 million
Square Feet: 275,500
Occupancy: August 2010

Access Ramps/Stairs: Spectrum Aquatics

Basketball: Connor Sports Flooring

Bulkheads: Stark Bulkhead Co.

Chemical Control Systems: Siemens Water Technologies

Cleaners/Vacuums: Aqua Products Inc.

Climbing Walls: Nicros Inc. Climbing Wall Systems

Deck/Basin Surface: Dal-Tile Corp.

Divider Curtains: Porter Athletic Inc.

Diving Boards: Duraflex Int'l Corp.

Dryers: Dexter Laundry Inc.

Filtration Systems: Neptune-Benson Inc.

Floor Covers: Covermaster Inc.

Flooring: Crossfield Products Corp.

Gutters: Lawson Aquatics Inc.

Gutters: Neptune-Benson Inc.

Ice Machines: Scotsman

Ladders/Grab Bars: Spectrum Aquatics

Lane Markers: Adolph Kiefer and Associates

Lane Markers: Competitor Swim Products

Lighting: Musco Lighting

Lighting: General Electric

Meet Management Withow: Nana Wall

Retractable Batting Cages: Porter Athletic Inc.

Retractable Batting Cages: Porter Athletic Inc.

Retractable Throwing Cages: Porter Athletic Inc.

Retractable Throwing Cages: Porter

Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Colorado Time Systems

Scoreboards/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.

Sports Med Treatment Tables: Meddo Sports Medicine

Starting Blocks: S.R. Smith

Storage Unit: Spacesaver Corp., OSDI

Storage Unit: Spacesaver Corp., OSDI

Tennis: Beynon Sports Surfaces

Tennis Court Nets/Posts: Porter Athletic Inc.

Track: Beynon Sports Surfaces

Track & Field Equipment: Gill Athletics

Volleyball: Connor Sports Flooring

Washers: Continental Girbau Inc.

Water Play Features: Lonza

Water Play Features: Antiwave Pool Products