The University of California—Irvine (UCI) needed to expand its Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) because of increasing demand for recreational facilities and space shortages that severely limited class offerings.
The ARC expansion provides 20,000 more assignable square feet for a weightroom, and classrooms for dance and martial arts. It also includes a ASSOCIATED FIRMLangdon WilsonCOST PER SQ FT$604.77FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio fitness/wellness center, physical-therapy rooms, a body-composition system to measure body fat, and cutting-edge technology for cardiovascular and metabolic analysis.
The campus architect took selected students on a nationwide “best practices” tour of recreational facilities. The team decided that signage should not be required to navigate the new center; the center should reflect the agrarian roots of the campus; and it should be a place to “hang out.”
The design team wanted this building to echo the style of the original California Irvine Ranch—the land where UCI was built.
The only recreational facility on campus, ARC had become the focal point for student life in the growing eastern sector of campus. Because housing there is far from the campus core, ARC had to create a welcoming “student center” feel.
Redefining agrarian for the 21st century, the design team created a modern “farm” building with steel trusses, pitched roofs, and split-face concrete block and glass. Classrooms have sprung floors and mirrored walls.
This project complied with UC policy for green building design through principles of energy efficiency and sustainability to exceed Title 24 energy requirements by 30.1 percent.