Award Winner - May 2012
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Lynnwood Recreation Center

Lynnwood, Washington

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

NAC Architecture in Spokane, Wash.

Size: 28,800-square-foot renovation & 16,000-square-foot addition

Project Cost: $17.3 million

Quick Tour:

  • Leisure pool with zero-depth entry, lazy river, interactive water spray
  • Lap pool & warm-water wellness pool
  • Family hot tub, adult hot tub, sauna
  • Cardio/weight room & fitness studio
  • Racquetball courts
  • Multipurpose rooms
  • New entry lobby and reception
  • Locker rooms, including seven private family changing rooms
  • Support facilities
  • Outdoor patio areas and playground

More than a decade ago, the City of Lynnwood realized its existing recreation center was in need of a change. The facility was struggling to meet current needs and demands, space was insufficient, mechanical systems were old and inefficient, and the building's envelope was under-insulated. The most notable culprit in the thermal envelope was also the feature that made the facility well-known in the Puget Sound area—a removable canvas roof over the indoor pool that allowed it to become an outdoor pool. However, the canvas took an entire day with a crane to remove or reinstall, and was a significant source of heat loss during cooler seasons. Through meetings, it was determined that the most functional and cost-effective solution was renovation and expansion of the existing facility.

The renovation has completely remade the facility, with an exterior design that provides a new identity and visibility, with an aesthetic that remains compatible with the existing buildings on the civic campus. Primary exterior materials are consistent with the existing structures. However, in contrast to the level rooflines predominant on the existing buildings, sloped roof forms are introduced over the main entry, the new fitness space and the aquatics expansion.

The roof over the new leisure pool is sloped with exposed glu-lam wood beams. The new roof lifts up to the north, allowing an expansive glass wall that creates an outdoor feeling. Activity within the leisure pool is visible from outside, and the new fitness center also includes significant glazing. The glass element wraps the northeast corner to draw in patrons. The glass and sloped roof forms create dramatic, higher volumes within the center and are visible from surrounding streets.

The new lobby is a key organizational component of the reconfigured plan with a central location close to all major spaces in the recreation center. The reception counter is a control point with maximum views to other areas of the center. The raised roof of the lobby creates a dramatic volume with daylight from clerestory windows above.

The new leisure pool in the north natatorium includes a zero-depth entry beach, two waterslides, a lazy river, interactive water spray features and a family hot tub. The existing 6-lane, 25-yard lap pool in the south natatorium was renovated, and the existing shallow wading pool was transformed into a warm-water wellness pool. A new adult hot tub was added in the south natatorium.

The new fitness area includes weights and cardio equipment in a space infused with filtered northeast daylight. Two existing racquetball courts were converted into a new fitness studio. Other spaces, including multipurpose rooms, racquetball courts and locker rooms were renovated, with family locker rooms added. A future phase includes a gymnasium, multipurpose activity court, elevated walking/jogging track, additional exercise/fitness space, senior center, teen center, art and preschool space, multipurpose space and support.

The removable canvas roof was replaced with a permanent, translucent, retractable skylight system that now opens with the touch of a button. An insulated sliding glass wall system was installed at the exterior walls of both natatoriums, allowing swimmers to spill out to adjacent patio and playground spaces. The new skylight system reuses the pool's existing roof structure, reducing waste. The retractable roof preserves the highly desirable outdoor pool environment in summer, and nearly eliminates energy consumption for HVAC in warmer months. The improvement to the building's thermal envelope during cooler months has an even greater impact on energy savings. Daylight fills the space, allowing swimmers to bask in the sun throughout the year, further reducing energy demand for lighting, and creating a dramatic contrast to other indoor pools.

The project earned LEED Silver certification through strategies that reduce energy use, conserve natural resources, reduce operating costs over time and create a healthier environment for work and play. Calculations show a 34 percent energy use reduction over the LEED baseline, and local utilities have provided energy incentives exceeding $100,000 as a result of the energy-saving features.


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

"Outstanding pool remodel."

Amado Fernandez

"One of the more innovative facilities with respect to energy savings, and the creation of an indoor/outdoor experience. Very nice use of exposed structural wood elements and a subtle yet rich interior palette to evoke a warm and welcoming user experience."

David Sprague

"Excellent use of materials, colors and textures. Nice balance of reuse and new, always demanding with a renovation/expansion project!"

Scott Ferrell

"Love the operable roof in pool. Very nice integration of sound panels, speakers and lights within the existing pool."

Howard Blaisdell

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Aquatics Consultant: Water Technology

Civil & Structural Engineer: DCI Engineers

Electrical Engineer: NAC Engineering

Landscape Design: Weisman Design Group

Mechanical Engineer: L&S Engineering

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