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Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center
Auburn, Alabama, USA

“There is no way to describe how awesome this building is. This new facility is going to help us reach our goal: to be the healthiest and most fit campus in the country.”

Jennifer Jarvis
Director of Campus Recreation, Auburn University

The Recreation and Wellness Center honors the distinct architectural character of Auburn’s campus while creating a hub for personal, social and physical well-being.

Built for an economical $225.00 per square foot, the highly efficient space provides an engaging experience for all and great value to the university.

During the design process, students and administrators consistently expressed a desire for spaces that “felt like Auburn.” The design responds by breaking the larger volume of space into “fitness neighborhoods” that re-create the feeling of the campus’ many interconnected quads.

Marking the building’s entry, the five-story cardio tower complements the campus’ historic context of towers and steeples while providing interior spaces for suspension training, group cycling and yoga. Located on the tower’s top floor, the yoga studio has hangar windows that fold up at the press of a button, allowing for the studio to be completely open to outdoor air.

At one-third of a mile, the indoor running track is one of the longest in the country and the first designed in a “corkscrew” configuration. The track winds through both gymnasiums, across the two-story atrium and around the atrium’s climbing tower while offering users different route choices. To achieve the crossover, the track ramps up and down, enabling runners to do interval training.

The facility also offers basketball courts, an outdoor leisure pool, cardio/fitness zones, a rock climbing wall, weight training areas and outdoor recreation spaces.

HOK provided preliminary planning and programming services to support a student referendum that funded the project. The team produced documentation, a revised program and 3D renderings to develop a promotional package for marketing and a pricing package that helped the university understand the fee assessment required for the project.


LEED Silver anticipated


240,000 sq. ft. / 22,300 sq. m.


Facility Programming 
Interior Design
Master Planning


National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association – Outstanding Sports Facility

Athletic Business – Facility of Merit Award


Construction cost per square foot

1/3 mile

Length of corkscrew track


22 April 2016
“Auburn University’s Recreation and Wellness Center Named One of Nation’s Best”
HOK News

1 December 2014
“Designing Tracks for Recreational Users”
Athletic Business

22 August 2014
“A Look Inside the Most Insane College Gyms” 
Fast Company

24 March 2014
“The Coolest College Recreation Centers in America” 
Men’s Health

1 March 2014
“Facilities of Merit 2014: Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center”
Athletic Business

1 March 2014
“Welcome to the Neighborhood”
Recreation Management

1 January 2014
“Making Tracks a Focal Point of Recreation Center Design”
Athletic Business