RDG in the Media: A Space for Everyone
In the March 2022 issue of Recreation Management Magazine, RDG Principal and Architect Jack Patton, AIA shares the importance of designing modern, inclusive locker rooms.
Much thought goes into creating locker room spaces that offer a positive user experience, and designers are continually working to improve these communal spaces, especially regarding privacy, accessibility, inclusivity and convenience. RDG Principal and Architect Jack Patton, AIA spoke with Recreation Management Magazine to discuss the challenges and opportunities designers face in creating locker room spaces that make a positive experience for everyone.
Universal or cabana-style locker rooms offer an inclusive design solution, explains Patton. In this model, the locker room is a collection of many public and private rooms, each a subset of a traditional gender-specific locker room, but made accessible to all patrons, regardless of gender identity. Larger facilities may benefit from multiple universal locker rooms located throughout the building and in high-demand areas.
Locker room spaces have always required the use of materials that can be easily cleaned, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for materials that can be effectively sanitized. Patton recommends ceramic tile, non-porous solid surface materials for countertops, non-porous stone materials, hi-build epoxy paint products and phenolic panels as examples of the kinds of materials being incorporated. In addition, designers are increasingly incorporating touchless and hands-free devices to minimize contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.