Located on the northern boundary of the University of California Riverside campus, near a natural arroyo, Cannon Design’s student recreation center expansion takes its cues not only from student needs but from the natural surroundings.
The building’s fluid, undulating exterior will be clad with the campus’ required red brick and storefront glazing below, and perforated metal panels and covered breezeways above. The curves take their cue from the eroded forms around them. But much of the design, explained Cannon Design associate principal Carl Hampson, had to do with solar shading and with “what students wanted to look at while they were exercising—the pool, the mountains, and parts of campus. The curve found a way to reconcile those interests.”
The two-story building’s upper level is a completely open plan (save for opaque lockers and bathrooms), containing fitness machines, training facilities, and a running track. The lower level includes the entryway, more fitness facilities, and a large pool. A double-height gym will unify the space, which connects via an enclosed bridge to the original recreation center built by the firm in the 1990s.
Surrounded by drought-resistant landscaping, the complex will be a vital perk for the school to attract students.