Campus Recreation Center | The Plan
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Campus Recreation Center


The new Recreation Center of the University of Cincinnati (UCR) is a multi-purpose facility, designed as a point of cohesion and interchange. With its sports complex, reading room, covered refreshment areas, canteen, dormitories and student accommodation, this Morphosis venture - with participation by local KZF Design - forms part of the scheme to transform the university campus into a continuously used hub of vitality in line with the master plan conceived by landscape architect George Hargreaves in 1989. The Recreation Center is a crossroads for the whole campus. It stands on Main Street, forming a connector with surrounding buildings and itself wrapping around the football stadium. Being on the main campus thoroughfare, it is a focal point for all lesser routes and a landmark/vantage point, as well as symbolically epitomising the polyhedric university experience. In placing the Recreation Center within the true Morphosis design tradition - “a stand … against uniformity” - Thom Mayne offers a clue to our interpretation: variety of form and function is the essence of this project. The complex extends over 33,000 square metres and rises to sixteen metres in height. There is an organic quality about the curving, undulating roof, dotted with skylights, that holds together the whole Center: the gymnasium with its six basket- and volley-ball courts, the water garden, restaurant and cafeteria, the fitness centre and other points of recreation. The main body is a dog-legged cube, clad in aluminium slats and formed of cell-like residential units. A curving wing veiled in pierced metal houses the teaching section. The two buildings stand facing one another against the backdrop of the...

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