Premium Partners

Nicholas Recreation Center, University of Wisconsin

Madison, WI
Construction Cost: 68,500,000
Area / Square Feet: 251,000
Occupancy Date: September 2020

The Nicholas Recreation Center, affectionately known as The Nick, provides an accessible, adaptable and welcoming facility to inspire students and the greater UW-Madison campus community. Located on a main pedestrian spine of campus, the new facility creates a beacon for campus recreation, while the center’s exterior materials and colors unify nearby student life, athletic and academic buildings.

Located on a tight site, the design went vertical to accommodate the desired program, resulting in a dramatic five-story volume. Open fitness neighborhoods, a central stair and ample use of interior glass all enhance connectivity and navigation.

The program responds to current fitness trends with 30,000 square feet of dedicated space for strength, cardio and functional fitness; an eight-basketball court gymnasium accommodating multiple uses; five exercise studios; areas for comprehensive wellness programming; a multilevel indoor track with views to the Wisconsin State Capitol; racquetball courts; a turf area; offices; classrooms and an Olympic-sized pool with a separate diving well and seating for 1,000 spectators.

A functional training sprint ramp is alongside an expanse of glass that gives passersby views of the fitness and recreation activities occurring inside.

The project also features the new Soderholm Family Aquatic Center, which includes a 50-meter by 25-yard competition pool and a separate 25-yard diving well with associated platforms. The shared-use aquatic center is also home to the UW Badgers Swimming and Diving program and is designed to NCAA meet-hosting standards.

The project is a joint venture between Workshop and HOK Architects.