The Colorado Academy (CA) Athletic Center renovation was one of several projects on the CA campus included in the school’s “See it Through” capital campaign. Not just a building for sports, CA’s Athletic Center weaves all aspects of the school’s mission into its programming.
The Athletic Center expresses its athletic nature through its tectonics. Structural steel is expressed openly, roofs cantilever to create the impression of lifting and soaring, and the climbing center at the terminus of Main Street is articulated as an abstraction of the caverns of Southwest Colorado. This honesty in expression of structure and material is carried into the building’s interior, to further reinforce an environment of openness and self-confidence.
New entrances to the Athletic Center are marked by significantly increased transparency and vibrant displays of natural materials inside. Careful and intentional re-use of salvaged materials throughout the project welcome visitors. At the public entrance, cubes of salvaged wood flooring are crafted into the confluence of Main Street, the gymnasium, the fitness center, and the climbing center. At a second entrance further east, students are greeted by the old gym floor medallion that is placed on axis with the Campus Center. Inside, along Main Street, study nooks, benches, memorabilia, and photographic legacies – past and present – encourage everyone to enjoy the Athletic Center, to learn, and to thrive together as a community. The new Colorado Academy Athletic Center honors CA’s past while supporting and encouraging a healthy and vibrant future for its community.
SAR+'s design approach has always remained focused on serving our multitude of users-students of all ages, parents, teachers, and administration - and I have so enjoyed seeing how their design details manage to engage each age and size category at every turn.Mike Davis