University of Akron Student Recreation Center

Akron, OH
Construction Cost: $40 million
Area / Square Feet: 287,332
Occupancy Date: August 2004

The University of Akron Student Recreation Center, complete with a field house and golf practice facility, represents a dynamic hub for campus activity. Marked by a 50-foot glass tower that encloses a climbing wall, a monumental entry ramp reaches out to a new student green. Mature trees ease the integration of large building forms into the campus fabric. The overall wrapping of the exterior introduces layers of architectural elements and landscaping that mitigate the enormous scale of the facility. A curving glass wall overlooking the heart of campus encloses fitness spaces and a sweeping jogging track.

A centrally located entrance allows access to separate two- and three-court gymnasiums, cardiovascular-fitness and weight-training spaces, group exercise rooms and a leisure pool. The ramp also continues into the facility to create a strong diagonal circulation spine, which efficiently organizes these major program spaces. A casual activities lounge, juice bar and pro shop located off a public-access atrium enhance socialization opportunities and afford views of the many activities offered within.

The facility is completely accessible with its series of dynamic ramps and bridges, allowing movement to reflect the energy of its users. Campus basics of stone and brick form a base for a highly transparent facility.