Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletics and Wellness Center

New York, NY
Construction Cost: Withheld
Area / Square Feet: 53,000
Occupancy Date: September 2014

Convent of the Sacred Heart's Athletics & Wellness Center is a one-of-a-kind facility among Manhattan's independent schools. The 53,000-square-foot center features an extensive program within a tight footprint on the site of a former parking garage that was partially reused for this project. Located at the opposite end of East 91st Street from the school's main academic building, the historic Otto Kahn Mansion, the new structure possesses a muscular but graceful street presence with masonry-driven solidity, underlying classical proportions and unexpected combinations of brick recesses, corbeling and wall thickness.

The center includes a six-lane swimming pool, an NCAA-regulation volleyball/basketball court that is structurally supported by a unique truss system, a dance studio, a cardio and weight room, multipurpose rooms, locker rooms, classroom space and a grand daylight-filled stairwell that encourages activity beyond sports.

Sustainable design strategies support operations of the LEED Gold-registered center, as well as the health and comfort of its users. Solatube skylights, a solar hot-water system, a cooling tower supplied through rooftop retention tanks, and a pool dehumidification heat-recovery system all contribute to thermal comfort while minimizing nonrenewable resources consumption. Whenever possible, building materials were composed of 100 percent recycled content, and the construction team diverted more than 95 percent of construction debris from landfills. To support an intensive indoor-air-quality management plan, low-emitting materials were used, and the team conducted a robust pre-occupancy flush out of airborne toxins prior to the facility's opening.