Feature Article - May 2009
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Seventh Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards

Beyond the Ordinary

Beyond the Ordinary


hat do a California park, an athletic events center in Wisconsin, a health club in Kentucky and a military fitness center in the Alaskan interior have in common? All are among the winners of our Seventh Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards contest—where we recognize outstanding new and renovated facilities on the cutting edge of recreation, sports and fitness facility design.

Many of our winners have more in common than being recognized here. Two of the winners were built on former landfill sites. Three of the winners will serve to bring more children, families and individuals outdoors in their community. And many of the winners are either LEED certified or have otherwise demonstrated an impressive commitment to sustainable design.

Above all else, all of this year's winners serve as outstanding examples of what can be done with a commitment to innovative design in recreation, sports and fitness facilities of all types. Among these winners, you're sure to find a launching point for your own dream and vision for your facility.

This year saw a record number of entries, and our winners were carefully analyzed and scored by our panel of expert judges, architects and designers from across the United States with experience in recreation and sports design. In addition to scoring individual elements of each facility, the judges also let us know which facilities knocked their socks off.

In the following pages, you'll read the results of this process, with innovative winners as well as fascinating facility highlights. We applaud the efforts of every team that worked to realize the vision of the projects on these pages for their dedication to collaborate, innovate and create outstanding facilities.

The judges looked at many factors as they considered each entry in detail. Greater weight is not given to pricier or bigger facilities, with each facility earning its score based on its own merits and scope. That means you can find small and large projects meeting a wide range of budgets on these pages. Above all else, it is creative design and innovation that earn these facilities their place among the winners.