The Markin Family Student Recreation Center is the first of four new buildings that will anchor a new western expansion for Bradley University. The facility sits across the street from the historic 1897 Westlake Hall College of Education. While it was not possible to construct the facility using cut limestone in the fashion of Westlake Hall, the exterior of the building has been designed with a highly articulated architectural precast concrete design that blends with the older building.
An open staircase links the three-story recreation center, and a climbing wall rises 48 feet. The facility also includes fitness spaces, a natatorium and a 1/8-mile jogging track encircling three basketball courts and one multipurpose court. An additional performance court hosts intramural championships and occasional practice sessions for the women’s volleyball team.
The building’s interior finishes reflect high quality and durability, with terrazzo floors in all public areas, a ceramic-tile pool enclosure, wood gymnasium floors and a glass dasher board system surrounding the multipurpose activity court.
A thoughtful, modern interpretation of the surrounding campus context. The natatorium is beautifully executed.
— Colleen McKenna
The building cleverly stacks its program on a compact site to create a spatially rich and dynamic experience. The pool area is especially memorable, with its strong presence on the site and subtle reference to the surrounding gothic architecture.
— Duff Balmer
The pool space is one of the best we had the opportunity to review — I want to go there and experience it.
— Nate Appleman