The Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) opened in 2002 as the main student fitness and recreational facility on the UC Davis Campus, encouraging students to incorporate exercise and recreation into their daily routines. However, growing demand led to overcrowding and long wait times for equipment and classes. To meet the infrastructure and program needs of the university population, the ARC underwent a critical renovation and expansion, optimizing the facility’s functional organization, building utilization, and energy performance.
The ARC features four indoor basketball courts, eight racquetball/squash courts, a multi-use activity center, an indoor track, fitness and weight training areas, and an indoor climbing wall. The center also includes a variety of program spaces, including group exercise, dance and martial arts studios, as well as student lounges, a large ballroom, a conference center, and three meeting rooms.
The new facility reimagines the recreation experience, providing critical space for cardio equipment, weight and functional training, along with a new outdoor space in a flexible, open environment. The design features 23,000 square feet of renovated space and a 2,750-square-foot expansion with a new 8,600-square-foot cardio mezzanine. Adding a mezzanine increases the ARC’s program space without expanding the building’s ground-level square footage. The functional courtyard also serves as a flexible space that can easily be converted to suit program needs. The design promotes openness and energy through ample natural light, bold graphics and connectivity between fitness neighborhoods.