Each year, Athletic Business selects just 10 facilities for the recognition, based heavily on design, student experience, efficiency and more. UNC Charlotte’s remarkable center stands out as one of the premier recreation and wellness facilities in the country by numerous measures. We proudly designed it in partnership with Jenkins Peer Architects.
A dynamic hub for campus rec, the 151,000 sf center is the university’s first facility fully dedicated to campus recreation. Responding to growing student demand and enrollment, the building offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities thanks to multi-purpose courts, indoor and outdoor pools, group fitness studios, a cycling studio, an elevated running/walking track, space for cardiovascular and weight training and more.
The facility’s architecture is consistent with the established neoclassical architectural style of the surrounding campus. By incorporating more glazing, the design creates the transparency that establishes the building as a recreation center and sets it apart from the adjacent academic buildings. Exterior materials remain true to UNC Charlotte’s design standards and include red brick, cast stone and precast concrete with aluminum windows, designed to maintain the large structure’s human scale.
The interior design is also careful to reduce intimidation and promote inclusivity. Throughout the building and site, there is a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. The use of glass creates transparency between floors and helps break down physical and metaphorical walls.
Previously, UNC Charlotte’s Director of Recreation Jim Walczyk told Campus Rec, “Having this dedicated facility allows us to collaborate with our internal partners like the student union, academic units like kinesiology, our wellness promotions group, dining services and more in abundant new ways.
It all adds up to a better student experience and better student health, which we know translates to better student success. This building is an incredible asset, and it will help our team create new opportunities for students to thrive. What this building makes possible for our department is incredible and we need to seize that opportunity.”