Kenyon College - Kenyon Athletic Center

Gambier, OH
Construction Cost: $60 million
Area / Square Feet: 265,000
Occupancy Date: January 2006

Combining a traditional sports program with recreational, academic and social aspects of the collegiate experience, the Kenyon Athletic Center is notable for what one judge called ?a simple and strong expression that carries through on both the exterior and interior.? The center?s smooth exterior of glass and metal over exposed steel evokes a sense of calm, with the sides that dip toward the ground intended to mimic the arc of a ball in play. Inside, a luminous elevator and light sculpture serve as focal points of a town-square-style lobby. Throughout, transparency is balanced against the need to control direct daylight on activity surfaces through the use of fritted and internally baffled glass, north-facing skylights and sun-shading structures.

Judges remarked on the building?s simplicity of both form (one called it a ?field house quality?) and color (conveyed in part by the palette of pure white on the interior). Yet, whatever coolness comes through in the execution of the project, another judge commented, is offset by an abundance of warm, natural light.

Judge's Comments

An exciting, energetic building with a fresh look and a forward-thinking image. With all that you see in three dimensions, in plan it's a box — great job.
— John Linstaedt

A strong-willed use of transparency in a consistent, rigorous application of various glazing techniques.
— James Meyer

A cohesive architectural statement that maximizes both external and internal transparency.
— David Body