Premium Partners

Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester

Rochester, NY
Construction Cost: $6 million
Area / Square Feet: 30,000
Occupancy Date: April 2017

Pool with a view

The JCC is a social and community asset for Greater Rochester, N.Y. The aquatic expansion sought to be more than a serviceable fitness facility, and designers were challenged to create an openness to the existing inward-looking, concrete 1960s-era community center. The expansion provides a place where families can gather and enjoy aquatics year-round. A cohesive facility is created by connecting the renovated lap pool to a large, open family pool. The family pool is visually connected on two levels to a state-of-the-art fitness facility on one end and to views of the Eerie Canal on the other.

Unanticipated hurdle

One of the most challenging aspects of the design was the connection between the existing lap pool and the new family pool. The original exterior precast wall had to serve as a fire-wall between the two spaces. The design sought to open up this wall to the greatest extent possible. Upon demolition, the team found that the steel columns in the existing wall had corroded due to an excess of chlorine – creating a million-dollar rehab project to underpin and replace the deteriorated steel. This unanticipated hurdle forced tight budgets and tight timelines that would result in a streamlining of construction and finishes.

A clear connection

The design team wanted to reduce glare while not sacrificing a clear connection to the outdoors. In lieu of tinted glass, the team worked with lighting consultants and daylighting models to balance in-water lighting with overhead lighting against the strong southern sun to eliminate extreme glare. Horizontal sun louvers were added to upper-level glazing to lessen mid-day exposure. Finally, the deeper pool decks allow the actual pool water to avoid almost all direct sunlight into the space.