University of Texas Pan American Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex

Construction Cost: $26.2 million
Area / Square Feet: 100,039
Occupancy Date: August 2007

The new Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex is designed to be very open, with the lobby and control desk affording panoramic views of almost all major activity spaces. These include weight and fitness areas, a climbing wall, a track, racquetball courts and lounge space.

Walls of tan brick and painted concrete block appear in spaces with the heaviest use, and terrazzo covers the floors in high-traffic areas. School colors of orange and green were the starting point for a colorful, lively scheme that reflects the culture of the region. These colors are apparent in glass mosaic tiles, intricate terrazzo patterns and the cool green architectural panels of the railing system. Accent lighting incorporates cobalt blue glass pendants over the welcome desk and green accents on the large industrial fixtures that run throughout the weight and cardio areas.

Since the facility is located on the edge of campus and signals a campus gateway, the facade that fronts Sugar Road allows for dynamic views into activity spaces, particularly at night. Because an adjacent health center was being designed and built by another firm at the same time, coordination of materials was critical. The recreational sports complex’s tan brick and brightly colored exterior accent materials, recessed windows and arched openings are consistent with the campus architectural style, which emulates that of Louis Kahn, one of the foremost architects of the 20th century.