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Cleveland State University Recreation Center

Construction Cost: $29.8 million
Area / Square Feet: 130,000
Occupancy Date: August 2006

The Recreation Center at Cleveland State University represents a renewed focus on student life. Consistent with the campus master plan, the building creates a new gateway to the campus by engaging the street, and the landscaped entrance court anticipates future campus expansion.

The design team integrated a number of innovative sustainable strategies, including stormwater management; underground parking; low albedo roofing; an infusion of daylight and high-energy-performance exterior walls, windows and shading systems; and specification of locally manufactured materials with recycled content.

The interior design concept hinges on an open-circulation atrium, and such exterior materials as brick and stone are brought into the lobby. The entire program is organized to achieve the feeling of “a building without walls.” The fitness spaces weave throughout the facility and offer views of the gymnasium and multipurpose activity court, while daylight filters in through several skylights, roof monitors and clerestories. Other program elements include racquetball courts, locker rooms, a childcare center, underground parking and space for a future rooftop garden.

The three-story recreation center adjoins the existing athletic complex, allowing for shared use of the natatorium.

Judge's Comments

An urban design for an urban campus setting, the exterior could have been very massive and brutal, yet it has a nice scale and rhythm to it. The interior design and planning are superb, with a great vertical relationship between all the floors and a fun play on volume and experience.
— Bob McDonald

The facility program evolves into a well-laid-out plan that flows smoothly from the entry level and on up to active areas and a view of the campus.
— Mike Pratl

The project presents a handsome urban face and anticipates future urban growth. The clean brick massing above and public transparency at grade resulted in a reinvigorated public street.
— Vik Jaunkalns