RDG in the Media: Trends in Aquatic Design

July 07, 2017
Sustainability Sports

RDG's Jack Patton, AIA speaks with Campus Rec Magazine about which trends - from multipurpose use to sustainable solutions - are the design of today's aquatic centers.

It can be hard to keep track of the current trends in aquatic design, let alone look forward to the future. What do your students want now and what will they want three years from now? And more importantly, how can you provide this to them while using the least amount of resources? Campus Rec Magazine recently sat down with RDG Planning & Design Architect and Principal Jack Patton, AIA, to discuss trends in aquatic design.

In terms of current trends, Patton explains one notable shift is the trend toward multipurpose hybrid water that can serve a totally different user group during three or four hours of the day. This transition can affect the layout of the space, the amenities in the pool and the aquatic environment itself. Likewise, there’s a trend toward designing aesthetically pleasing and highly functional facilities and creating spaces that can be utilized for any of the groups on campus in a social or semi-social environment.

The leisure pool at the University of Oregon Student Recreation Center. Photo by Kun Zhang.

Patton goes on to say sustainability is another trend clients are increasingly leaning toward, explaining how designers can bring natural light into an aquatic center in a variety of ways that can often eliminate the need for synthetic lighting to be on during the day. The University of Oregon, for example, has a large indoor light umbrella that’s specifically designed to shed light that comes in the skylight and distribute it inside the space. Moreover, a lot of energy is consumed in the natatorium, so a sustainable solution might be to reuse the heat energy that would have been wasted and transfer it to heat other portions of the building or to heat hot water for showers. 

Click here to read Patton’s full interview in Campus Rec Magazine on the latest trends in aquatic design.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director