Award Winner - May 2009
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A Swimming Success

View Ridge Swim and Tennis Club

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

NAC Architecture in Spokane, Wash.

Size: 4,000-square-foot poolhouse,
6,000-square-foot outdoor pool

Project Cost: $3.2 million

Quick Tour:

  • Reception/check-in
  • Locker rooms
  • Office
  • Storage
  • Mechanical


  • Eight-lane, 25-yard competitive pool
  • Diving well with drop slide
  • Kidney-shaped shallow end with "kiddie" slide


  • Entry breezeway
  • Covered waiting area
  • Permanent bleachers
  • Play courts/play structure
  • Patio areas
  • Outdoor storage


he View Ridge Swim and Tennis Club proves that facilities need not break the bank to make a big splash.

In 2005, the Seattle-based neighborhood club decided to begin a comprehensive planning process to evaluate the existing deteriorating pool and poolhouse, and address the diverse needs for aquatic and social activities. After a series of meetings, the design team was charged with the task of improving the entry from the existing parking across the street, providing privacy for patrons, addressing the needs of modern pool users and creating an inspiring structure that blended well with the neighborhood.

"The club was unusually engaged in the whole process, and a lot of times with other projects it's not like that," said Doug Whiteaker, principal-in-charge at Water Technology Inc., which served as aquatic consultant to the project "It was wonderful. We did a lot of club member meetings to see what amenities they wanted. They had a lot of great input."

It was a demanding task, given the limited budget, tight site and various club activities. But the determination of the design team and club members resulted in a new 4,000-square-foot bathhouse and an exciting 6,000-square-foot outdoor pool.

By locating the new clubhouse at the north side of the pool property, designers were able to utilize the building as a means to provide privacy along the site's most exposed side. Further screening was created with the use of natural topography and existing landscaping at the remaining edges of the property. The sequence of entry from the parking across the street is discrete with only framed glimpses of the pool as one passes an intimate covered entry court and through a breezeway.

The check-in point and office space are on the west side of the breezeway with expansive windows creating a visual connection to the pool and a welcoming feeling as members arrive. The clubhouse roof is a simple clerestory form that extends the length of the building with the entry court, breezeway and the locker room entry carved out from below this simple form. The clerestory windows allow daylight to penetrate the office space and the locker rooms.

The locker room entry boasts an innovative "splash wall," a random splash-like pattern of aquatic-colored glazed masonry units and glass block—also visible from the showers within the locker rooms. Glass blocks within the wall transform a typically static surface to one that is dynamic, constantly changing on both the interior and exterior depending on the lighting and time of day.

The pool itself creatively accommodates the numerous programs in a relatively small footprint and a limited budget. The lap pool has eight lanes for competition and fitness swimming. During recreational swim times, two of the lanes remain open for lap swimming. A shortened water polo court is possible across the width of the deep end. The deep end also transitions into an even deeper diving well. A kidney-bean-shaped shallow end accommodates families with beginning swimmers and offers a graceful point of entry for older swimmers.

"At the end of the day, it turned out to be a beautiful facility that they celebrated having the opportunity to be a part of," Whiteaker said.


W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Simply said, a well-conceived and organized plan with tight constraints. Makes the best of a tight space to provide a creative competitive and family blend of pool programs, without forgetting the support structures. Innovative use of interior and exterior building materials that are both sophisticated and contextual.

Tom Poulos

Very thoughtful overall site planning strategy. Nice breezeway.

Colleen McKenna

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Civil/Structural Engineer:

Coughlin Porter Lundeen

Mechanical/Electrical Engineer:

Hargis Engineers Inc.

Aquatic Consultant:

Water Technology Inc.

Landscape Architect:

Weisman Design Group Inc.

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