Utah State University’s Aggie Recreation Center was designed to rival the surrounding majesty of the Wasatch Range. The facility serves a diverse range of programmatic demands with three full-size basketball/volleyball courts, a multi-activity court, an indoor running track, a climbing wall, a cardio loft, space for outdoor recreation programs, two group fitness studios, offices and a student lounge.
The design balances an open and lofty interior with the grounded nature of the site on campus, which is at the mouth of Logan Canyon. In both orientation and form, the center is celebratory of the landscape. A “compression and release” technique was used to make the entry resemble a canyon crevice that opens to an expansive three-story entry atrium with glazing above. Large graphics of the area topography grace the walls of the main corridor, and wood ceilings bring warmth to the building. Generous use of glass — in particular in exercise studios at the terminus of the interior “canyon” — offer stunning views of the mountain range.
The powerful massing of the facade, showing three levels of fitness space and a track through picture windows, hints at the facility’s vertical dimension inside. The building becomes lighter as it rises up, offering students stunning views of the spectacular natural landscape surrounding the campus.