Our Reed Voorhees is the focus of Campus Rec magazine’s new Ask the Expert interview in which he discusses the importance of architecture for campus recreation, communications strategies, budgeting tools and lessons learned. Reed has spent multiple decades planning and designing sports, recreation, and athletic facilities for higher education institutions and communities including projects with University of Memphis, Missouri State University, Maryland Heights, City of Lemay, University of Colorado at Boulder among others.
Reed’s full Q+A can be read online. Below is a key excerpt:
Why is putting thought into the architecture of a campus recreation center important?
RV: Architecture is not just a container for campus recreation defined solely by interior and exterior finishes of a building. It is a catalyst for success. It is the solution to a multitude of complex variables including geographic and site context, spatial relations, program adjacencies, operational efficiencies, and the less defined elements that stir the imagination and inspire users and staff.
What tips can you give when it comes to communicating with the architect during a project?
RV: Designing a new recreation center takes years, and it’s important clients and architects build positive relationships. Those colleges and universities that build relationships with architects rooted in trust, open dialogue and respect will inherently achieve better results.
Another great tip is to recognize architects often use words and acronyms that aren’t part of everyday language. Campus recreation leaders should never hesitate to ask questions and ensure they understand everything architects are saying about their project. Moreover, architects are starting to use tools like virtual reality to communicate with clients. These tools help elevate quality, speed-up decision making and generate better outcomes. Don’t be afraid to ask architects about them and how they can benefit your project.