The Drexel University Recreation Center received the 2011 Facility of Merit Award Oct. 14 from Athletic Business, a national magazine geared toward athletic, fitness and recreation professionals.
Drexel was one of 10 facilities that won the award, which will officially be presented Dec. 2 to the facility owners and architects during the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. The winners were announced on the publication’s website during the first two weeks in October, and profiles of the winning facilities will be featured in the December issue of Athletic Business.
“We are very proud and honored by this award,” Bryan Ford, manager of student and member services, said. “Sasaki and Ewing Cole did a phenomenal job designing the facility and captured exactly what the students and employees needed on this campus.”
A panel of sports and recreation facility architects reviewed the facilities during a two-day period in September in Chicago. Categories being judged included functional planning, interior and exterior design, site and cost.
According to Athletic Business’ article announcing the Recreation Center’s win, “The judges saw the designers as having successfully met several different challenges — blending old and new building elements, adding large amounts of recreation space within a tight urban site, and above all, creating a signature look.”
The Drexel Recreation Center officially opened in January 2010 after the $42-million three-story addition covering 84,000 square feet was added onto the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, Mass. served as the architect of record while the associate architect was Ewing Cole, located in Philadelphia.
“This energetic project successfully transforms its site and provides a strong, contemporary and engaging expression that is successful in making meaningful connections beyond the edges of the site,” Darryl Condon, judge and partner at Hughes Condon Marler Architects, said. “The integration of abundant quantities of natural light has produced memorable spaces that would be a pleasure to use.”
In order to be included in the competition, representatives from engineering or architectural firms, and also facility owners who were involved with the creation of a project, had to submit an online application form in addition to facility photographs of the interior and exterior of the building and site plans. Only facilities completed between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2010 could be submitted.
The other winners included MetLife Stadium; the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center; California State University, East Bay, Recreation and Wellness Center; and the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center at Rice University.