We were asked by university leadership and the project architects, CannonDesign, to place a new recreation building on the hills of the existing campus. The adjacent historic orthogonal campus dramatically steps up to the hills using a series of bold terraces. The site for the project is the highest terrace, adjacent to the upper campus access drive, which until now, has been treated as a back door to the upper campus.
We suggested the building align with the geometry of the lower campus buildings parallel to the slope of the hill. The historic campus is marked by folded terraces and a broad stairway, which connects the series of campus terraces. We continued this idea, uniting the proposed recreation building, adjacent entry, and secondary courts to lower campus with new stair terraces. The previous undefined campus entry is now defined by the new building edge on one side and a bold line of trees and lighting formalizing the upper campus drive on the other.
The entry court is composed of two terraces, one a paved court of alternating, varying size panels of lawn and pavers reflecting the building façade and serving to connect the entry drive, building entry, and the broad stairs to lower campus. The second adjacent terrace is a raised lawn terrace for group exercise and informal gathering.