France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center
At Purdue University three existing, antiquated, windowless boxes housing fitness, gymnasium and aquatic spaces were turned ”inside out,” and a sprawling complex of facilities was united by “adding on from the middle.” Utilizing the charrette process, Moody Nolan evaluated nine possible design solutions to unify the disparate, poorly integrated parts of the existing facility. Out of this process a new unexpected design emerged. Boring and confusing entries and corridors between windowless activity spaces were replaced by a soaring central atrium of activity, reinvigorating renovated spaces with natural light brought deep into the heart of the facility and reaching its lowest levels. Infilling an underutilized courtyard with stacked gymnasiums was a structural challenge but saved an existing track facility (and the cost for its relocation). Another economy was the design of spaces to serve multiple functions, such as the lobby doubling as prefunction to the natatorium.