UO STUDENT RECREATION CENTER

Robertson | Sherwood  | Architects
RDG Architecture
Poticha Architects

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The University of Oregon Student Recreation Center welcomes students to a modern, dynamic recreation center—inspiring and energizing students, promoting social interaction, and expanding upon current programs. The voluminous and easy-to-navigate day-lit spaces, open vistas to multiple levels and activities, and colorful forms are welcoming, open, accessible. The $43.3 million project surpassed Oregon Model of Sustainable Development goals and achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.  

The University of Oregon Student Recreation Center serves a pivotal role in daily campus life - empowering students to embrace “Active, Balanced Lives.”  Following a $43.3 million major expansion and renovation, a cohesive, modern, dynamic recreation center now welcomes students—inspiring and energizing them, promoting social interaction, and expanding upon current programs. The project seamlessly knitted together three existing recreation buildings from previous eras. Though physically linked, the original buildings lacked clear organization, and suffered with access control issues, challenging wayfinding, and congestion.

The project transformed the center by creating new dynamically linked internal street connecting activity spaces and opportunities along its path. Voluminous day-lit spaces, open vistas to multiple levels and activities, forms and materials all enliven the street, in turn offering a frame of reference for wayfinding, and a sense of welcoming, openness, and accessibility. New entrance connections and views overlooking the intramural fields and campus beyond encourage access to outdoors, and place activities on display to encourage exploration within. The expansion/renovation showcases the University’s commitment to the Oregon Model of Sustainable Development with a target of 35% more energy efficient than Oregon energy code requirements. Features include extensive daylight harvesting with dimmer controls, radiant floor heating and cooling systems, displacement ventilation, and rainwater harvesting utilizing the former pool tank as a cistern. This new facility meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

Jury’s Comments: “A wonderful achievement in unifying a series of existing buildings.  The design utilized creative strategies to connect a disparate set of buildings who were built at different times, and with different program, materials, and construction. In particular the ceiling treatments created both a sense of continuity, while also providing for individual program activities.  Strong visual connections between spaces and activities improved the sense of the community. The jury was impressed how active and contemplative spaces could be accommodated without compromise.

Environmental performance of the buildings’ systems actually enhanced the interior activities, while providing access and exposure of the external environment. The building’s external elevations, materials, and lighting create strong connections to the University urban design, and enhance its qualities.”

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