Southern Methodist University

Construction Cost: $24.1 million
Area / Square Feet: 65,000 (new), 80,000 (renovation)
Occupancy Date: May 2006

For more than a decade, Southern Methodist University espoused the benefits of renovating the Dedman Center. These benefits are now reality.

The new center is a stunning contrast to the original. From the brick and cast-stone entrance rotunda to thesunlit heart of the building, the center is open, airy and easy to navigate, and invites participation with dramaticviews and well-connected interior spaces. Granite floors, cherry wood columns, and Armourcoat wall surfaces create an earthy, warm and classical environment.

Designers incorporated the university’s Georgian architecture into the recreation center. The domed copper-clad rotunda mimics several building shapes on campus, providing continuity, but its open-air concept is unique among campus buildings. The centerpiece of the building is the 40-foot climbing wall, which is framed by cherry columns and four indoor court spaces. The gymnasia are surrounded by the 1/6-mile jogging track, which was expanded from its original narrow, short and tight-radiusconfi guration. The courts are augmented with a multipurpose activity court for soccer and other sports.

Opening up and providing natural light to the dungeon-like existing building was an important design decision. Punching windows into the old building opened up the interior while providing aesthetic exterior symmetry.