The owner’s requirement to relate to the Spanish Mission style is evident in the massing, fenestration and materials of the new Montclair State University Student Recreation Center. However, the building departs slightly from the traditional Mission style and gives students visual cues to the activity inside the facility. Orienting the building presented a challenge, since much of it is situated over bedrock and is broken up in several plateaus that vary approximately 25 feet in vertical elevation. The pool tank, basement and service areas were located to take advantage of the existing grade without extensive rock excavation.
Expanses of glazing provide dynamic views from outside into the lobby, cardiovascular fitness area and natatorium. The natatorium, lounge and administration offices are located immediately inside the entry to allow patrons in without them passing through access-controlled areas. The entry provides abundant views to activity areas, and a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline is seen from various fitness spaces on the first and second floors. Other windows provide views to the wooded hills surrounding the campus.
Generous corridors are designed to be used for warm-up and stretching, as well as socializing and relaxing. The channel glass wall adjacent to the monumental stair provides a strong focal point for both levels. The wall is internally lit with energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lamps that can be programmed to change color and provides the “wow factor” that the owner desired.