Premium Partners

Cleveland State University - Recreation Center

Cleveland, OH
Construction Cost: $29.8 million
Area / Square Feet: 130,000
Occupancy Date: August 2006

Cleveland State University?s new recreation center was designed to be a ?building without walls? to both reinvigorate student activity and counteract the prevailing perception of the CSU campus as one of unwelcoming concrete buildings. To maximize its impact, the recreation center?s activity spaces interconnect, engaging students, faculty and visitors in the activities taking place within.

Capitalizing on its location at a campus crossroads, the facility balances seemingly contradictory needs of security and visibility. Consistent with the campus master plan, the building creates a new gateway to the campus as it engages the adjacent street and fills a gap in the urban context. In contrast to most campus buildings — which do not engage the ground because they are set on concrete plinths ? the recreation center is broken into components sensitive to pedestrian and vehicular scales. Exterior materials such as brick and stone are brought into the main lobby, which features large expanses of glass and integrates with the campus-wide pedestrian skywalk system. Passing through the recreation center at its top level, the skywalk offers views across and down into the main gymnasium, elevated running track, multiactivity court and multipurpose rooms. The triple-height, open floor plan is suffused with daylight filtered through skylights, roof monitors and clerestories.

In seeking LEED® certification, the design team integrated several sustainable strategies, including stormwater management to reduce runoff; low albedo roofing; use of native plant materials, waterless urinals and other water-saving devices; and specification of locally manufactured materials with recycled content.