The new Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center accommodates 300,000 square feet of program space within an 80,000-square-foot footprint by stacking long-span structures such as the building’s multiple pools and gymnasiums. In addition, the new facility includes racquet courts, combative sports rooms, a climbing wall, locker rooms, a sports medicine suite, an administrative office suite and support spaces.
The building’s main architectural feature is an interior atrium spine that serves as an organizing element. The atrium rises five stories — or approximately 125 feet from basement level to skylight. It spans 25 feet in width and extends 230 feet. The central spine focuses on an open, cascading stairway that links major activity spaces with support areas and main entry checkpoints.
Interior design makes a fresh interpretation of the established military Gothic principles of soaring vertical spaces, expressive bold structures and glimpses of natural light. Primary circulation routes feature elegant diamond-patterned terrazzo floors with class crests, ground-faced CMU walls and distinctive lighting. Secondary circulation paths have durable simple finishes incorporating the academy’s colors of black, gray and gold. In selected locations along public corridors, historic construction is left exposed to celebrate the building’s past. A carved stone crest from a portion of the building slated for demolition was salvaged and incorporated as a focal accent in a primary lobby.
The new building facade helps articulate large lengths of exterior wall. Parapets on the Hayes gym are capped with cut limestone, and the deep scuppers recall the crenellations of older fortresses. The use of oversized brick of a slightly different color than the original helps form a bridge between the granite ashlar of the dormitory/barracks buildings and the brick of the adjacent Superintendent’s House.