Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 21, 2009
The new lobby of the Student Recreation Center boasts soaring views and a rock-climbing arch.
The Department of Campus Recreation will host a grand opening of the Student Recreation Center expansion at Texas State University-San Marcos 3 p.m. April 22.
The event will be held in the lobby of the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Tours will be given of the new facility until 5 p.m. Additionally, entrance will be free all day, with refreshments and giveaways provided.
The expanded and renovated SRC was designed by Marmon Mok Architecture. The SRC is the first building on campus to follow the guidelines of the new Campus Master Plan. In a return to Texas State University’s architectural roots, the SRC’s exterior design features Spanish Colonial influences, including warm-tone campus brick, red barrel tile roofs and cast stone masonry accents.
In keeping with the Master Plan, Marmon Mok designed a signature tower for the SRC, which houses a 54-foot climbing wall, and centered the entrance along a pronounced colonnade adjacent to the tower. Now students enter the SRC through a soaring lobby that provides open views to the activities taking place all around them, including the climbing tower, which consists of two half-archways that appear to meet at the top. The surface features, fault lines and coloration of the climbing tower emulate the Hueco Tanks, a State Park and Historic Site in El Paso County that is a favorite climbing spot of the SRC staff. The ceiling of the lobby features white “waves” intended to mimic clouds, creating the appearance of the climbing tower rising up to the clouds.
Due to tight site constraints, the design team created a three-story scheme, with the second story gymnasium stacked on top of the first floor weight room and a lounge, viewing gallery and boxing areas on the third floor. To maintain clear sight lines, the west wall of the existing SRC was removed, opening up the old to the new. From the upstairs running track one can look down into the lobby and weight room.
“With the concept of planned openness we were able to create better visual connection between the existing building and the expansion,” said lead architect Greg Houston.
The gallery space is outfitted with movable leisure furniture that can be pushed aside to allow a small exercise class to take place. Service level functions were grouped on the south end in conjunction with the adjacent power plant building, to form one cohesive service area. The service entrance is now at the sublevel, with direct access into pool mechanical rooms and primary air handling rooms beneath the pool deck.
The natatorium program called for two bodies of water, and the plan incorporates these while accommodating the geometry imposed by the site boundaries. The more organic form of the leisure pool was incorporated at the south end in the triangular plan of the building envelope, while the six lane lap pool is adjacent to the locker rooms. Both pool tanks are built as above-grade structure over the existing limestone bed, to avoid significant rock excavation and take advantage of the 12-foot slope at the south end of the site. This limestone formed an easy foundation base for inexpensive storage and mechanical space under the pool deck.
For additional information, call (512) 245-2392.