Louisiana State University, University Recreation Center (UREC)

Baton Rouge, LA
Construction Cost: $56,133,705
Area / Square Feet: 256,000
Occupancy Date: February 2017

Designed around a philosophy of “healthy building for healthy bodies,” the renovation and expansion of Louisiana State University’s 25-year-old recreation facility, UREC, provides much needed facilities for fitness, wellbeing, aquatics, sport programs and outdoor adventure, in a flexible, connected environment.

The expansion was designed and planned to create connectivity and continuity, working with the existing infrastructure and seamlessly connecting the addition, indoor/outdoor program areas and campus recreation spaces. The new outdoor aquatics and adventure center includes two fitness lap pools, a leisure recreation pool that spells out the letters “LSU,” new tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and a new high-ropes challenge course.

The design highlights the intersection of old and new, creating garden wedges where the two buildings meet. These green spaces cut inwards, physically pointing to the heart of the building, where the climbing wall and spiral portion of the running track sit. The elevated track winds through the space like an LSU Tiger tail and incorporates a sprint incline, while also providing connectivity to defined fitness neighborhoods on the second and third floors.

A double-height space for functional fitness training, featuring a turf sprint incline, is prominently located on the northwest corner of the addition to inspire and educate other students as they develop their own fitness routines. The UREC’s design was heavily influenced by student input, and the facility aims to support an active environment of diversity and inclusion for students with its open plan and fitness neighborhoods.

LSU Recreation Center

Judge's Comments

“Playful and fun, this facility really has its pulse on the current state of recreation and wellness trends.” — Emily Parris

“Dynamic and vibrant spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. My favorite project from this year’s group.” — Adam Bastjan

“Great project that has something for everyone. It also strikes a deliberate balance between boldness and reservation.” — Stephen Springs