Grand Valley State University Student Recreation Facility
With considerable attention and emphasis placed on fitness, as well as steady enrollment growth, Grand Valley State University officials wanted to expand recreational services for their student population. An addition was to be made to the present recreational facility that would include a gym, track and weight room. Because the project was financed entirely through student-generated funds, an appointed group of students worked closely with the design team. The students wished to see and be seen in this environment, so the building’s physical expression is one of exposure. The design embellishes the concept of openness. The public facade is a detailed wall of glass, allowing students on the campus to see inside and giving those in the building an exceptional view of the campus. Inside the building, structural steel members and connections are exposed. The building contains a cantilevered running track, a fitness center suspended within the space, and a three-court multi-use wood surface. All of these spaces, including stairways, provide opportunities to see and be seen. At night, the building is illuminated from within, highlighting the glass wall, all of the exposed steel, and truly exposing this campus jewel.