East Campus Athletic Village Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, N.Y.
Construction Cost: $77.79 million
Area / Square Feet: 165,740
Occupancy Date: September 2009

The Rensselaer East Campus Athletic Village’s new arena, stadium, three outdoor fields and renovated hockey rink provide indoor and outdoor facilities for athletic teams, coaches and staff, as well as for the Rensselaer community, including alumni, visitors and friends.

The village’s buildings are integrated into the topography to maximize space for outdoor fields, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, spectator viewing and connections to the main campus and city. Georgian Terrace, a pedestrian outdoor event space, is the organizational spine through the sloped site. On one side of terrace, the facility is divided into strategically placed buildings that enclose the football field, reducing game-day sounds and light glare in the neighborhood. On the other side, landscape design provides pedestrian connections to the hockey rink and fields. Continuous seat walls were used to stabilize the sloping site, while providing informal viewing areas for the track and field events.

With a banded masonry volume wrapped with intersecting metal cladding and curtainwall, the arena welcomes pedestrians from campus at the south end of Georgian Terrace. Continuing inside, patrons find the gyms, locker rooms, support spaces, and fitness and sports medicine suites that offer on-grade football field views. At the upper level, a balcony and café overlook Harkness Field and connect to the stadium concourse. The interior red plywood and dark stained bamboo wall panels complement the stainless steel framed mesh railings, white walls and stainless steel details. The red Rensselaer hall, which showcases and provides spectator access to the gym, leads to sports offices featuring upper-level football field views along the outdoor terrace.

The stadium’s dark, textured masonry plinth contains two levels of locker room facilities for men’s, women’s, home and visiting teams. The space created between the horizontal louvers and masonry base contains the suspended ramp and stair that provide spectators vertical circulation to the concourse, where they find concessions stands, restrooms, lower- and upper-grandstand access, and connection to the arena.

Judge's Comments

This thoughtfully composed complex serves to pull the entire athletic campus together with a primary spine that visually grounds and connects multiple buildings.
— Bill McCullough

This beautiful composition of buildings and spaces is able to activate an entire precinct of the campus.
— Duff Balmer

An exceptionally successful example of campus planners, site designers and building architects collaborating to create a complex that works on so many levels. This is a game-changer for Rensselaer.
— Chris Sgarzi