The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH
Construction Cost: $117.6 million
Area / Square Feet: 568,380
Occupancy Date: September 2005

Designed to serve a campus population of more than 75,000 students, faculty and staff, the Recreation and Physical Activity Center ? or RPAC ? offers an incredible 568,380 square feet of space. To break up the mass of this potentially overpowering building, it was designed to look like several smaller structures more in scale with the campus. These "buildings" are sculptural in form, with sloping roofs over the two natatoriums and floor setbacks at upper levels of the other structures.

The judges were most impressed with the design team?s solution to the problem of orientation and circulation in a facility of such magnitude ? the creation of an outdoor pedestrian plaza above occupied space that allows entry into the facility at its center. Once inside, the layout resembles a pinwheel, with gyms, fitness space, multipurpose rooms, locker rooms, the child-care room, the competition pool and the game room all easily accessible. Floor openings allow views to the upper levels, where an upper gym, more multipurpose rooms, racquetball courts and the track are visible.

Judge's Comments

Interspacial relationships and their interaction with site topography and circulation patterns make the building come alive.
— John Linstaedt

A creative answer to the challenge of multiple large-volume spaces.
— David Body

The expression and detailing are very consistent throughout this extremely large project.
— Tom Scarlata