Rec Hall Wrestling & Student Fitness Center, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Recreation Building or – as it is more commonly known, Rec Hall – is Penn State’s busiest and most versatile athletics venue. Located at the heart of the University Park campus, the building’s facade and main point of entry fronted the original Mall and Rec Hall was a recognizable campus icon. However, as the campus grew, Rec Hall appeared to have turned its back to Atherton Street, which had become a major campus gateway. Previous additions to Rec Hall were nondescript windowless masses recessed from the street that did not present a welcoming facade on the campus’s western edge.
Home to Penn State’s top ten ranked wrestling team, the University commissioned L.R. Kimball to transform a portion of the building into a state-of-the-art wrestling center to meet the growing needs of the wrestling team and strengthen the University’s ability to attract top wrestling talent. Administrators also envisioned a dynamic fitness facility at Rec Hall for student and faculty use.
Blending form with function, the 28,587 SF renovated Lorenzo Wrestling Complex features locker space, an exercise area for varsity athletes, a wrestling practice facility, retractable bleachers, a Hall of Honor and lounge room to support recruiting efforts. A 19,794 square foot addition provides a central atrium gathering space and a student fitness center with room for 220 people to comfortably work on the strength-training and cardio-equipment. Energy-efficient green technologies anchored the plan and provided the University with a permanent opportunity to showcase its commitment to sustainability.
The exterior facade facing Atherton is sheathed in layered glass, brick and metal, and provides a prominent western gateway to the campus. The project also incorporated an extended walkway as part of the new south entrance, parking relocation, exterior/interior circulation improvements and a new wayfinding system.
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