At Middlebury College, athletics are an integral part of the institutional culture, yet the college’s strategic plan emphasizes the importance of a committed, multitalented and diverse student body. When it came time to replace an aging field house, designers recognized an opportunity to rethink the athletics-only building to better align with Middlebury’s mission. It was important to consider how to best design the Virtue Field House to serve the student body, as well as the town of Middlebury.
A rigorous master-planning and programming effort determined the size and location of the facility, carefully considering the building’s relationship to the existing athletic center and outdoor fields. The plan also defined critical outdoor spaces to better integrate the entire sports complex within the campus fabric. The fieldhouse includes a 200-meter track and features more than 20,000 square feet of synthetic turf. The multi-use complex accommodates 500 spectators for sporting events and up to 5,000 people for large campus functions in an assembly configuration.
By creating a space intended to be flexible, Middlebury has not only positioned itself to be able to host regional and NCAA indoor track and field events for the first time, but it has also established a new means for engaging with current students, appealing to prospective students, and enhancing its already positive town-gown relations.
"Wonderfully refined massing to appropriately fit its site, particularly given this is a field house." — Katie Barnes
"This project took a very creative approach to breaking down form and scale. The parabolic roof shape and the unexpected wood detailing make this project special." — Tracy Carusi
"The design of this facility could best be described as ‘fitting in’ to the context. The precise and unique composition of exterior facade and soffit detailing continue to the interior. This facility is efficient and functional, a flexible facility in all respects." — Jeff Penner