Situated a few blocks from the students’ main academic building, Convent of the Sacred Heart’s athletic center offers an extensive program within a tight footprint, on the site of a former parking garage that was partially reused for this project. The new Manhattan facility has a six-lane swimming pool, an NCAA regulation-sized volleyball/basketball court, a CAPACITY1,249FEATURED IN2015 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSports Stadiums/Athletic Facilities studio, a cardio and weight room, locker rooms, teaching space, and a grand daylight-filled stairwell that encourages activity beyond the bounds of sports.
Neighborhood-appropriate materials and clever massing ensure that the building fits in with its block, and masonry-driven solidity and underlying classical proportions provide a sense of gravitas reminiscent of the buildings within the school’s historic campus. A host of sustainable design strategies, such as a solar hot water system and a pool dehumidification heat recovery system, contribute to thermal comfort while minimizing nonrenewable resource consumption. In addition, easy access to sustainable systems opens students’ eyes to the sources of the building’s energy, so that the LEED Gold-registered facility may serve as a teaching tool.