Tenth Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards

Innovations Abound

This year marks a decade's worth of Innovative Architecture & Design Awards competition. Welcome!

As always, this special section takes you on a visual and descriptive tour of some outstanding, innovative, new and renovated recreation, sports and fitness facilities located throughout the United States and Canada.

Each year's winners raise the bar a bit higher, and this year's competition saw a host of facilities that go above and beyond—from innovative energy savings to creative designs that bring gigantic facilities down to a more human scale, from smart partnerships to get more bang for your buck to makeovers that take existing facilities from blah to bravo!

Thumb through these pages, and you'll surely be inspired. Perhaps you'll even find new ideas as you make your own plans for new construction or renovations at your existing facilities.

All of the entries were carefully considered by our panel of judges, with the goal of scoring each facility on its own merit. We also asked for their comments and critiques, as well as their thoughts on what made their top choices so remarkable.

From their top choices, we selected the eight highest-scoring projects as winners, as well as one facility that scored near the top for our Editor's Choice award. These winners are all featured in the pages that follow.

In addition, we also provide highlights of some of our other entries—facilities that missed out on the top scores, but are still worthy of showcasing.

We hope you enjoy reading through and learning how these facilities are offering innovative solutions. And, we hope you'll consider submitting your own new or renovated facility for next year's competition. Look for entry forms to be available in Fall 2012, with entries due in January 2013.




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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.


Howard M. Blaisdell, RA, LEED AP BD+C

Howard Blaisdell has been a senior project manager and architect with Moody-Nolan for the past 22 years. He has worked exclusively in the planning and design of recreation and sports facilities over the past 14 years. Blaisdell's projects include Purdue University Student Recreation Center, University of Texas at El Paso Student Recreation Center, Butler University Health and Recreation Complex and the innovative Ithaca College New Athletics and Events Center. As a LEED AP, he has been involved in numerous projects for Moody-Nolan providing LEED workshops and sustainability evaluation services.


Amado Fernandez, AIA

Amado Fernandez, AIA, is a principal of Hughes Group Architects with more than 30 years of experience. He has had primary management responsibility for the majority of Hughes Group's recreation and wellness projects, and has been vital in Hughes Group Architects' development as a national design leader in this specialized field. Fernandez has built a reputation for design excellence, and he approaches each design as a singular challenge that deserves a unique, creative solution. His projects have been consistently distinguished, receiving design awards from the American Institute of Architects, NIRSA and Athletic Business.


Scott Ferrell

Scott Ferrell is a registered architect with more than 33 years of experience in the aquatic industry. His field experience consists of survey and layout, engineering site work, general and swimming pool construction, and his extensive design experience includes competitive, recreation and leisure aquatic facilities. He has been responsible for the design of more than 2,200 public and private-sector projects. As principal-in-charge of design for Aquatic Design Group, Ferrell is responsible for production and execution of the overall design process, from concept to completion, and provides quality checks and assurance for each set of plans.


Jeff Nagel, ASID

With more than 22 years in the fitness industry, Jeff Nagel and his firm NAGELsport has designed more than 250 facilities on four continents. Nagel's projects have won several awards internationally, always starting with the approach of how the space will encourage users to reach their exercise goals. The approved design vendor for Gold's Gym International, Nagel also has several deep relationships with other brands in the market. He is currently working on a major GGI expansion effort in Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait City.


David Sprague

David Sprague is a senior principal and lead designer for Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative. He has 28 years in the programming and design of public recreation, athletic clubs and hospital wellness facilities. His practical yet artistic approach to design has led to universally successful facilities in both the private and public sectors. Previous speaking engagements include Athletic Business, Medical Fitness Association, CPRA Design School and IHRSA. Sprague was the lead designer for the Campbell County Recreation Center and The Trails Recreation Center in Centennial, Colo.—two of the best examples of community-oriented recreation facilities in the country.


Reed Ittner Voorhees, AIA, LEED AP

Reed I. Vorhees is a vice president with Cannon Design in St. Louis. He has spent the past 20 years specializing in the planning and design of sports, recreation and athletic facilities for municipalities and higher education institutions. As one of Cannon Design's national sports practice leaders, Voorhees brings in-depth knowledge in the programmatic, functional and technical aspects of sports, recreation and athletic facilities design, with a focus on design innovation. He has gained national recognition for his contributions to facility planning and design with numerous design awards from the AIA and various sports and recreation organizations.





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