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Wildcat Recreation Centre California State University, Chico Architect: Sasaki Associates Location: Chico, California, USA Completion: 2009 GFA: 10,200 m2 Photography: Sasaki Associates

The Wildcat Recreation Centre (WREC) fills a long-awaited need for recreation and fitness space on the CSU Chico campus. In 2005, students passed a fee referendum which approved the development and funding for the centre. Working with student representatives, campus administration, and facility and staff, Sasaki helped to establish project goals. The students envisioned the centre as a campus “living room” – a social and communal destination on campus, and the WREC has indeed become the place to see and be seen. The state-of-the-art building accommodates a variety of activities appealing to the diverse student body. Located on a prominent southwest corner of the campus, the building is a beacon of activity. A broad entry court is defined by the eastern façade with large glazed spaces and playful steel roof forms and is designed as if the building is to say, "Come In and Enjoy." Users within WREC fitness room lend colour and animation to this façade. The court accommodates a variety of outdoor activities and events, from meetings and informal gatherings to celebrations and student government rallies. It serves as an extension of the interior gallery and lounge, the building’s large interior social spaces.

Section

Upon entering, the soaring Gallery visually and physically connects all major spaces in the building. Active spaces unfold to the left and right, ranging from the large gymnasium to the climbing wall. The interior Gallery extends the interior to both the entry court and the pool court at the opposite end of the building. Various opportunities for social interaction factor into the WREC's design – a lounge and refreshment bar extends the Gallery's social space; overlooks into the Gallery serve as private areas for stretching and cardio, while also providing a quiet place for those who wish to read or work on a laptop.

Structure

1. The large rectilinear volumes are eroded at the edges, to better relate to a pedestrian scale 2. The pool outside the cantilevered exercise rooms 3. A large roof overhang marking the entrance; transparency into the gallery space welcoming the building users in 1

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University Architecture  

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