“We’ve got the state of Utah in a building.” That’s how Utah State University’s campus recreation director described the Aggie Recreation Center (ARC) upon its opening.
The building sits on a prominent site along the Wasatch Range. Its orientation, form and interior spaces celebrating this stunning geography.
Students entering from the south get the feeling of coming into a canyon crevice, emulated in an expansive, three-story atrium. A stairway at the front entrance resembles a waterfall. Space throughout the ARC is open and inviting. Wood ceilings add a sense of warmth.
The ARC includes full-size basketball and volleyball courts, a multi-activity court gym, an indoor running track, a cardio loft, two group fitness studios, offices and a lounge that has become a hub for student life. Generous use of glass throughout the building provides views of the spectacular landscape.
Outdoor programs include a climbing wall, repelling ledge and outdoor recreation shop.
The university empowered students to inform the design process, incorporating their feedback through informal meetings, hikes and a retreat with members of the design team.
HOK designed the project with Salt Lake City-based AJC Architects.