University of Houston - Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

Houston, TX
Construction Cost: N/A
Area / Square Feet: 264,000
Occupancy Date: May 2004

Back in 1997, when University of Houston President Arthur K. Smith called for ?the creation of a physical environment that facilitates the connection between physical fitness, academic success and personal wellness,? he was articulating a whole new vision for UH campus life for more than 34,400 students.

The manifestation of that vision is the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The university dedicated a premier piece of its real estate to locate the center at the primary point of entry to the campus. Although it is enormous in size and scope, the building layout is interlaced with sightlines and punctuated with visual reminders that connect users to activities at its core. The climbing wall, for example, can be seen from virtually every interior point. Visual connections to the campus and the city skyline tempt the eye throughout the facility.

The exterior is composed of rigorously proportioned brick, granite and glass with arc forms and clerestories designed to convey the dynamic social and fitness activities within. This palette of materials is also used throughout the facility?s interior to create continuity and reinforce the strong sense of place. An outdoor aquatic zone features water slides, a zero-depth entry, lap lanes and a whirlpool surrounded by rock forms and palm trees, all of which are viewable from the indoor track and fitness zone.