Stony Brook University has been transitioning from an institution providing largely top-tier graduate programs to one with a more integrated undergraduate population. As part of this transition, it is critical that the university be able to recruit the best undergraduate prospects. Simultaneously, the growing popularity of campus recreation added pressure to create dedicated space for recreational programs. The campus recreation center is a primary driver in resolving both issues. It is an iconic and exciting facility that is actively impacting prospective students' decisions to attend Stony Brook while providing dedicated space to support the ever-growing recreational programs.
The campus recreation center sets a new design benchmark for the campus. The building is forward looking, identifiable, inviting, and dynamic—while still providing recreational space in a functional and efficient manner. To reinforce campus pride and give recreation a fresh and accessible identity, the design team developed a bold and exciting exterior design that features school colors and utilizes multi-hued red metal panels and glazed concrete block. The resulting wow factor leaves an impression on the prospective student while remaining accessible to the existing undergraduate.
The campus recreation center provides over 90,000 square feet of dedicated recreational space and includes a three-court gymnasium with elevated running track, weights and fitness, multi-purpose rooms, administrative offices, and a fully enclosed multi-activity court. The program is organized over two main floors and half a basement, and is situated on a sloping site that connects with the athletic center and the student union. There is one main entry point and no back door, so the building expression responds to all four visual approaches.