Southwest Recreation Center Expansion - University of Florida

Gainesville, Fla.
Construction Cost: $11.7 million
Area / Square Feet: 53,301
Occupancy Date: August 2010
"See and be seen" is the core idea of this addition to the Southwest Recreation Center. The exterior glass wall showcases user activity with views into the facility while providing picturesque views out to campus. The strength and cardio fitness spaces include an upper-level jogging track overlooking the main cardio equipment space, unifying both levels of the open plan with its additional overlooks into the main entry lobby and student lounge.

Interior spaces use warm white tones with areas of color to accentuate student services and to provide a strategic visual backdrop. Translucent gator-skin-patterned vinyl was applied to the windows of the student lounge area to achieve partial visual separation.

On the building’s exterior, high-performance glass within aluminum curtainwall systems outfitted with horizontal sunshades controls solar exposure. Metal panels help define the main entry, while the south facade curves to gently expose more of the elevation to the west to position the building as a welcoming beacon to those entering campus from the southwest.

Tight site constraints and necessary stormwater storage required that the stormwater management system be placed in the front yard. The interior and site lighting design is melded with a site-specific art installation that interprets water in the onsite bioswales in an immediate and visual way. The art installation’s light columns are mimicked at the interior entry, where an arrangement of columnar lights changes colors and beckons users inside.