Cañada College Kinesiology & Wellness Building

Redwood City, CA
Construction Cost: $96M
Area / Square Feet: 135,000 sf (including pools)
Occupancy Date: April 2021

This LEED Gold-targeted center unites once-dispersed facilities into a holistic home for wellness. It replaces a 1967 windowless concrete gym — where plans for a pool were never realized — that constrained the school’s goal of supporting world-class, active learning environments.

The new building synthesizes multiple program elements, including two pools, and helps students advance in Cañada’s renowned movement studies, competitive sports, and fitness programs. The center offers a general-public membership option to use facilities operating alongside those for the college population.

Amid stunning natural surroundings, extensive exterior glazing offers ample daylighting and expansive views across the hills and over the town of Woodside. The building’s programming is spread across two stories topped by a 30,000-square-foot activated roof with running track and multi-use areas affording a panoramic, 360-degree vista. In moving key uses away from conditioned spaces and onto the roof, designers supported physical health while expanding affordable square footage and lowering the facility’s carbon footprint. An iconic roof canopy, inspired by nearby mountainous ridgelines, extends beyond the building face to create shade, offsetting heat gain considerably.


LEAD ARCHITECT: ELS Architecture and Urban Design



  • Instructional pool
  • Competition pool
  • Spectator seating


Chemical Control Systems: BECS Technology Inc.

Lane Markers : Competitor Swim

Ladders/Grab Bars, Starting Blocks: Spectrum Aquatics

ADA Lifts, Covers: S.R.Smith