University of Florida - Southwest Recreation Center Expansion

Gainesville, FL

Services provided on this project:

Architecture Overview:

Glass, glass, glass - this project is all about showcasing the interior activities to those driving and walking by and providing users with maximum opportunities to look outside. The building transparency was also important to the University because the site is located at one of the main entrances to campus. Inside, the building is open with jogging and cardio space sharing the two levels at the front of the building. An activity room and offices round out the addition. Existing cardio space is transformed into a personal training studio with spa-like atmosphere.

Art Studio Overview:

"Thirst": is a site-specific installation that interprets water in the bio-swales on site in an immediate and visual way.

Water is pulled up from the bio-swales, drawing nutrients into the organic forms that grow on the site. The sculptural columns suggest a root structure of the palmetto palm, almost like human tissue, symbolic of the common denominators between plant and animal and our shared dependence upon water. Water is represented by blue light that illuminates the bio-swale path at night. Purchased in 2010 with funds provided by Florida's Art in State Buildings Program (F.S. 255.043)


Graphic Design & Multimedia Overview:

Our designers worked closely with both RDG's architect and the University of Florida's Recreation Department to develop the brightly colored, energetic graphics located within the newly renovated Southwest Recreation Center. Wanting to inspire and excite the users of the facility, key words from the University's mission were used as a starting point. From there, colors and textures from the surrounding interiors were added and then incorporated onto walls and glass windows, providing a cohesive design throughout the building.

Interior Design Overview:

Glass, glass, glass - this project is all about showcasing the interior activities to those driving and walking by and providing users with maximum opportunities to look outside. The building transparency was also important to the University because the site is located at one of the main entrances to campus. Inside, the building is open with jogging and cardio space sharing the two levels at the front of the building. An activity room and offices round out the addition. Existing cardio space is transformed into a personal training studio with spa-like atmosphere.

Landscape Architecture Overview:

Let the water shine - this project took the little space left after the building expansion and used the need for stormwater detention to create a ephemeral water feature that brings the water from the building's roof onto the site through a series of runnels that eventually cascade into a series of rain gardens, filled with native Florida plants and boulders. This system, while beautiful, also works to clean, cool and slow the stormwater down, allowing for infiltration of some of the water before heading into the regional stormwater system. The incorporation of public art into the rain gardens further enhances the site overall aesthetic.

Lighting Design Overview:

  • CLIENT: University of Florida
  • COMPLETE: August 2010
  • SIZE:
    40,755 Sq. Ft. Addition
    12,546 Sq. Ft. Renovation
  • AWARDS:
    • National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) - Outstanding Sports Facility Award - 2012
    • Iowa/ Minnesota Illuminating Engineering Society - Regional Lighting Awards - 2011
    • Illuminating Engineering Society - National Lighting Award of Merit - 2011
  • SUSTAINABLE: Certified LEED for New Construction v2.2 - Gold
  • View Related Project Types:
    College & University, Sports