Award Winner - May/June 2006
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MVP Magic

MVP Sportsplex
Grand Rapids, Mich.

S U B M I T T E D    B Y:

Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative in Denver

Size: 96,000 square feet

Project cost: $17 million

Quick tour:

  • Two full-size basketball courts
  • Six indoor tennis courts
  • Cardio fitness floor with more than 300 pieces of equipment, including 40 treadmills with built-in TV screens
  • Free-weight area
  • Sports performance training
  • Indoor lap pool, splash pool and therapy pool
  • Group-exercise studios
  • Spinning studio
  • Full-service locker rooms with saunas and steam rooms
  • Outdoor leisure pool with slides, plunge pool and various play features
  • Pool bathhouse
  • Child-care center with interactive video games such as a dance pad

One of Grand Rapids' coolest fitness facilities is the result of a little Orlando magic.

Several years ago, Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative in Denver, working with Integrated Architects, designed the RDV Sportsplex for the RDV Group in Orlando. The facility—the company's first foray into the fitness industry—offered a variety of athletic and health-related activities, including fitness, aquatics and ice venues, as well as medical/clinical space. The venture proved so successful, the firm decided to build another facility in Grand Rapids. RDV, which chose the locale because several partners hail from the area, envisioned a full-service health center similar to its flagship building in Florida.

"The company realized that in Grand Rapids, Mich., there was nothing of comparable quality," says Hervey Lavoie, OLC's president and CEO. "They needed this not only for themselves but for the market."

And thus the MVP Sportsplex was born. The RDV theme (reminiscent of the Orland Magic logo) and the use of bright primary colors are evident throughout the facility. The star is used on the group-exercise floor, as well as the kids' area. Blue, red and yellow are featured in the pool slides, the children's area and even the lobby.

"One of the things that is so great, as far as building design goes, is the architecture," says Benny Hardouin, MVP Sportsplex director. "The design, the color and the décor all lend themselves to a lot of energy and activity."

The facility is on the corner of a busy intersection, prompting the design team to maximize the exposure of the club's entrance with a dramatic arched entry with windows. As guests walk into the lobby, there's a clear line of sight through all the activity areas. A separate entrance is located on the side of the building for seasonal outdoor pool facilities, while six tennis courts are positioned along the side/back of the facility, minimizes the street view of the long wall that runs alongside the courts.

Attention was paid to the smallest detail.

"I believe it was very intelligently planned in the sense that there were no compromises when it came to the building and to the site," Lavoie says. "Everything is focused on the customer. It's very user-friendly."

It's an understatement to say community reaction to the facility has been positive.

"It has been a tremendous success story in a very competitive marketplace." Lavoie says. "They opened the doors basically with full membership. This rarely happens in the club business. And the membership just keeps on growing."


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

Very exciting interior spaces and finishes—very energetic, sophisticated.

Kenneth J. Ogden

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