Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports Renovation and Expansion - Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX
Construction Cost: $24.1 million
Area / Square Feet: 65,000 (new), 80,000 (renovation)
Occupancy Date: May 2006

The new Dedman Center is a stunning contrast to the original. From the brick and cast-stone entrance rotunda, to the sunlit heart of the building, the center is open, airy and easy to navigate. The building invites participation with dramatic views and well connected interior spaces.

Providing natural light to the dungeon-like existing building was an important design goal. Punching windows into the old building opened up the interior while providing aesthetic symmetry to the exterior. The 15,000-square-foot fitness center’s cherry-lined ceiling clouds reflect light, resulting in a bright, open space. Granite floors, cherry-wood columns, and plaster wall surfacing (in lieu of natural limestone) create an earthy, warm and classical environment. The central stairway provides a grand entry with direct access to all program areas. The five-lane indoor recreational pool can be seen from the lobby, and a 40- foot climbing wall, framed by cherry columns and four indoor court spaces (including a MAC and soccer area), serves as the building’s centerpiece. The gymnasia are surrounded by an indoor jogging track, expanded from its original tight radius configuration.

Incorporating the university’s classic Georgian architecture, the recreation center’s domed copper-clad rotunda mimics several building shapes on campus. The open-air entry rotunda has a strong visual connection to an outdoor shallow-water pool with 7-foot waterfalls, as well as to sand volleyball courts, emphasizing the Dedman Center’s stature as a dynamic social gathering place.