Wake Forest University


Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC
185,000 GSF, including 40,000 SF addition
Completion date
March 2018

Design for the renovated Reynolds Gymnasium, a longstanding workhorse of Wake Forest University's main campus, transforms the building and provides expanded facilities for the university's student recreation and wellness and health services, and women's volleyball program. 

Located in Wake Forest's Wellbeing Center, the transformed Reynolds Gymnasium reflects the university's leadership among institutions focused on enhancing all aspects of personal well-being. RDG's design encompasses three phases, a 40,000-SF expansion and significant renovation to organize state-of-the-art programs with a high degree of transparency, create a visually dynamic experience and serve as a strong recruiting magnet for students. 

Design for the renovation adds a new structural steel skeleton throughout the building that allows for the integration of glass at the exterior that presents as contemporary yet maintains the integrity of the Collegiate Georgian framework. The space is lightened and brightened by the addition of windows that bring considerably more daylight into the building. 

Inside, the north/south primary internal concourse spans the existing building and continues as a link to the new addition. The main west entry allows for one control point for the building's recreation, wellness and athletic functions. A 3,000-SF living room just off the main entry lobby is a popular hangout with its two-story windows, fireplace, water wall, live plants, mechanical massage chairs and comfortable furnishings. 

Lighting design highlights the warm inviting wood and brick surfaces unique to this facility unique and serve as a counterpoint to the energy of the activity within. Ceramic tile flooring offers durability in high-traffic areas such as building corridors, the Living Room' Hub, Student Health Center and restrooms. RDG's design strategically mixes multiple sizes, colors and decor options to add interest and break up long extended corridors. This solution allows a change of color, pattern and direction while incorporating the "W" in a traditional herringbone pattern. Likewise, the design connects historical building aspects such as interior brick walls with a warm, complimentary tile to link the building's past, present and future.

Phase II of the project was completed just before the 2017-18 academic year. That fall semester before the project was fully completed, 85% of undergraduate students utilized the Wellbeing Center's facilities and services. Since project completion, Wake Forest has experienced increased participation in all programmatic areas, including intramural and club sports, group exercise, personal training, aquatics and outdoor recreation.   

Climbing & Bouldering
Control Desk
Wake Forest University's Wellbeing Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photo by Kun Zhang.
Functional Fitness
Student Health Services
Living Room just past the control desk and adjacent to the Office of Wellbeing
Wake Forest University's Wellbeing Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photo by Kun Zhang.
Fourth floor gymnasium at Sutton Center addition
Second floor gymnasium at Sutton Center addition
Phase I Sutton Center addition provides 46,000 square feet of space for fitness programming and campus activities connected to Reynolds Gym by a floor-to-ceiling glass atrium.
Renovated Varsity Volleyball Venue at Reynolds Gymnasium
In phase 3, an 8-lane 25Y pool and spa replaced the original 1956 pool
USG NACDA Sustainabilty First Runner Up
Outstanding Sports Facility Award
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA)
Institutional Honorable Mention
Ceramics of Italy North America