The new Wellness and Aquatics Complex is a gateway into the Southwestern College Campus, creating a high-profile image for the institution and neighboring community. The Complex is the manifestation of the district’s desire to bring together the local community and the college in a meaningful and enduring way. Not only does it serve the athletic and wellness needs of the students, it also serves the community by offering club memberships and a wide range of health programs ranging from fitness and swimming classes to individual training, and programs for adults and seniors.
The project negotiates a 30-foot grade change across the site and integrates with a universally sloped walkway, inviting the public into the campus core. This integration into the topography is central to the design intent of creating an architecture that is grounded and of the earth through its materiality, textures, forms, and scale. High thermal mass walls are utilized through tilt-up concrete construction, to help store cool air in the large volume gymnasium. Glazing elements utilized highly fritted glass to reduce glare and solar radiation while optimizing daylight. The project achieved LEED Gold with a focus on sustainable sites, indoor environmental quality, daylight, views, and thermal comfort.