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Feature Article - May 2008

Sixth Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards

Top Notch


Top Notch

W
hile other contests are still, well, contested, we do have some definitive results to report here on the pages of Recreation Management. The ballots have been cast, the judges have spoken, and here are the results.

Welcome to our Sixth Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards—where we applaud outstanding new and renovated facilities that are setting higher standards for recreation design across the country.

Every year we showcase the best and brightest in recreation, sports and fitness facility design, and this year's crop of contestants—and winners—represented some real standouts. This year saw more facilities focused on sustainable design and construction techniques. We also noted that the trends toward adding family-friendly amenities, like family locker rooms, as well as open spaces and views to multiple activities, have firmly taken hold. This years winners—from community recreation facilities to natatoriums to college fitness centers and beyond—truly set an example for others and provide innovative and creative solutions to design problems.

Winners were carefully considered and ranked by our panel of judges, who aimed to highlight what they found outstanding about each facility. Out of the many entries received this year, it was a tough job to whittle the choices down to the top 10 facilities, and we thank our judges for handling that task.

Here on these pages, you'll find the results of that process, and the winners stand out from the pack for one reason—innovation. In these top 10 projects, the owners, the designers, the consultants and the construction teams collaborated to create recreation, sports and fitness facilities that are true standouts. We applaud their efforts and are excited to showcase them here.

Our panel of expert judges considered many factors as they looked through each entry in detail. Each facility is judged on its own merits and scope, which means a David has just as much chance of winning as a Goliath. The judges do not look to award the prize to those who spend the most money, reach the most patrons, build the biggest facility, or offer every recreational program under the sun. Creative design ideas are the ticket to the winner's circle, and facilities that overcome unique challenges with beauty, style and functionality are rewarded accordingly.

Judges score each facility in seven different categories, as well as providing their thoughts and comments to further illustrate their overall impression of each entry.

The criteria scored by the judges include:

RECREATIONAL VALUE: Serving patrons' needs, impact on community, fulfilling project's goals

INDOOR APPEARANCE: Creating visual excitement and comfort, good use of textures and colors, interesting focal points and features

OUTDOOR APPEARANCE: Curb appeal, site improvements, "fit" into natural landscape

ORIGINALITY OF PLAN AND DESIGN: Proportion and scale, clever use of space, smart layout, interesting features

CRAFTSMANSHIP: Attention to detail, harmony of materials, quality of construction

FUNCTIONAL AND OPERATIONAL ELEMENTS: Good use of space, easy to manage and maintain, safe and efficient for staff and patrons, efficient uses of energy and natural resources

INNOVATIVE DESIGN: Overall impression of how the project fits the award, based on the facility's originality, creativity and uniqueness

In addition to our 10 winners, for the second year we've selected one outstanding project for the Editor's Choice Award. In this case, we chose to reward a village that dedicated itself to redeveloping a brownfield—and revitalized its community in the process. The project scored well with our judges, but we felt it also stood out for the village leaders' commitment to redeveloping this challenged site, which one state legislator compared to war-torn Eastern Europe. Turn to page 46 to read the story.

The winners and highlighted facilities featured on these pages make for interesting reading, and we hope you'll come away with some innovative ideas for your own facility.

As always, we are impressed with the creativity of the designers, the owners, the builders and the consultants on these projects. We invite you to submit your innovative facility for consideration next year, when we'll once again feature the latest innovations in recreation, sports and fitness facilities.


P I C T U R E  T H I S

To provide a full picture for our panel of judges, entrants were asked to contribute a narrative describing their innovative projects.

Here are the questions that helped guide their description to fully illustrate the facilities:


WHAT IS THE FACILITY'S RECREATIONAL VALUE?
How is this facility serving its community's needs?

WHAT IS THE PROJECT VALUE?
(value versus cost, in terms of "bang for the buck") Any creative financing or grants?

WHAT'S INNOVATIVE ABOUT THE PROJECT?
In what ways is it unique and creative in its design?

HOW IS ITS AESTHETIC PRESENTATION?
Does it create visual excitement and comfort, inside and out?

WHAT IS THE DESIGN CONCEPT FOR THIS PROJECT?
How well does it meet functional and operational expectations?

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS TO BRING TO THE JUDGES' ATTENTION?



PROFILES COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY: SHAY BAPPLE, ELISA KRONISH AND EMILY TIPPING



W I N N E R S

Hats Off to the
Following Winners!

(appearing in no particular order):

Click on


ASPEN LODGE RECREATION CENTER AT ANTHEM RANCH

BRAMPTON SOCCER CENTRE

CARMEL CLAY CENTRAL PARK

PARKER FIELDHOUSE

STUDENT RECREATION AND WELLNESS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS

STUDENT RECREATION CENTER & LOCKRIDGE ARENA, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

THE DAVID WENZEL TREEHOUSE AT NAY AUG PARK

THE HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTER AT WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE

TOM MUEHLENBECK CENTER

ZEELAND NATATORIUM



E D I T O R ' S  C H O I C E

And to our Editor's
Choice Award-Winner


WAUNAKEE VILLAGE CENTER



H I G H L I G H T S

We also are pleased to showcase the following facilities that were submitted and sponsored by the firm that entered them:


ABERDEEN AQUATIC CENTER

DISTRICT OF MISSION LEISURE CENTRE

GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY RECREATION ACTIVITY CENTER ADDITION

MATT ROSS COMMUNITY CENTER

NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY WALLMAN WELLNESS CENTER

SPORTS AND HEALTH CENTER ADDITION, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY RECREATION CENTER

TROY PARKS AND RECREATION CENTER

THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE: STUDENT RECREATION & FITNESS CENTER

WELLNESS & RECREATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN



O U R   2 0 0 8   P A N E L   O F   J U D G E S

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our panel
of judges for sharing their time and expertise.
Their comments, insight and input are invaluable.

Steve Blackburn, AIA

Prior to becoming a principal of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture in 1999, Steve Blackburn had been a partner at the Sports Management Group and with HOK Sport. He has extensive experience in the community recreation center feasibility and design field, and has worked with more than 60 communities and 50 colleges and universities across the United States. Steve has authored articles and is a regular speaker at recreation and athletic industry conventions on recreation sports programming, strategic planning and design. He has participated in the Recreation Facility Design and Management School held in Colorado each year. His current projects include: Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers in Morgantown, W.Va.; Augusta, Ga.; Staten Island, N.Y.; and Phoenix, Ariz.; Broomfield Bay Study, Colo.; and Auraria Study, Colo. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction in 1986 at the University of Kansas.

Nancy Freedman, AIA, LEED AP

Nancy Freedman is a principal at Sasaki Associates Inc. in Watertown, Mass., and has more than 23 years of architecture experience. Nancy's institutional experience has encompassed all design facets of campus life, including master planning, housing, classrooms, athletics and recreation. To increase Sasaki's understanding of current and upcoming trends, she coordinated and analyzed Sasaki's 2004 research of NCAA schools with enrollments under 5,000 and Sasaki's 2006 research of design and operational issues. Nancy has presented at many conferences on topics concerning institutional athletics and recreation. She is currently the project manager for the new Intercollegiate Athletic Complex at Loyola College in Maryland, Drexel University Recreation Center and the recently completed University of New Haven David A. Beckerman Recreation Center and Trinity College - Koeppel Community Sports Center. She graduated from Harvard University with a Master in Architecture.

Janet Jordan, CPRP

Janet Jordan is an associate with Moody-Nolan Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. She has led the interactive programming component of the firm's design process for the past 10 years, working on more than 30 community and collegiate sports and recreation projects. Janet believes that inclusive, yet managed, stakeholder participation in this early phase of planning is essential for successful recreation projects. Janet is a Recreation Administration graduate of The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Moody-Nolan, she was a public administrator overseeing capital projects and their operations for municipal parks and recreation departments. She learned that the best planning solutions evolve by finding the intersection of varied and diverse ideas. She works with clients to ensure multiple constituents are engaged in a productive and enjoyable endeavor, always mindful of the budget and the bottom line.

Randall Mendioroz, CSI

As the founding principal of Aquatic Design Group in Carlsbad, Calif., Randy Mendioroz has more than 28 years of experience in the industry, with 10 years in design/build and 15 years in design administration. He has successfully completed hundreds of design and construction projects, and his unique combination of field and technical knowledge enables him to present progressive and innovative approaches to each project assignment. As the firm's administrator, Randy is responsible for programming, technical specifications, estimating and project management, and has spoken at various conferences and written several articles pertaining to these subjects.

Douglass Whiteaker

Douglass Whiteaker, principal of Water Technology Inc. in Beaver Dam, Wis., has 34 years of experience in the aquatic industry. He is dedicated to the planning, design, engineering and construction of aquatic facilities throughout the United States and internationally. Doug leads projects of great diversity in size, scope and function, including colleges and universities, athletic and fitness centers, YMCAs, hospital-based wellness centers, waterparks and family aquatic centers. Prior to working with Water Technology, Doug was the director of aquatic design and firm partners with an international architecture firm for 10 years, and the president of a pool construction company from 1972 to 1993. He has presented seminars at recreation, sports, fitness and aquatics conferences both nationally and regionally.


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