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RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center Piscataway Township, NJ

Project Category : College/University

Total Construction Cost : N/A

Total Gross Square Feet : 307,000 gsf

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : N/A

How was the facility funded? : Combination of: Private Donation, State Tax Funding, Alumni Fundraising

Project Description:

As a part of its commitment to building championships in the Big Ten Conference upon its 2014 entry, Rutgers Athletics launched a comprehensive campaign to build premier training facilities for its elite student-athletes. This campaign was launched in partnership with the University Physical Master Plan, goals of which include high-density campus development complete with urban facilities, shared amenities, and a walkable campus.

The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center (APC) is the first project to result from Rutgers Athletics campaign. The APC transforms the student-athlete experience by creating a destination on campus that captures the unique character and tradition of Rutgers Athletics. Designed by Perkins Eastman, the 307,000 sf, four-story APC is the new home for men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, and wrestling programs at Rutgers University. The building supports student-athletes with sports medicine, hydrotherapy, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and training table programming. The building also includes a dedicated RWJBarnabas Health medical facility with doctor offices, exam, x-ray, and procedure rooms, NBA and WNBA scouting decks, a closing room, coaches and athletic directors offices, and meeting rooms. A four-story parking garage is attached to the training facility, creating a central courtyard that naturally ventilates the garage.

The facility completes a new Rutgers Athletics Quad and Plaza in the heart of the Livingston campus, integrating existing pedestrian routes and linking the academic campus with the athletic fields, creating a destination that knits the campus together. As part of the gateway to campus, the building design needed to negotiate between the disparate architectural styles and material vocabularies of both recent and older architecture on campus including the beloved 1977 RAC arena to build cohesion and establish an active edge condition along the quad.

With an animated facade of concrete panels, aluminum fins, and glazing that allows extensive natural light into training spaces that are typically big-box and windowless, APC is the new face of Rutgers Athletics and a benchmark for athletic training facilities in the Power-5 conferences. Daylight and openness are a key factor in the design; the access to abundant natural light, in particular, enhances the health and well-being of the student-athletes. Uninterrupted glazing across the ground floor creates transparency and connection with the academic quad and the existing pedestrian realm. The main entrance to the building admits ample daylight to the core of the building through a three-story glass curtainwall that reveals a communicating stair connecting programs within. This transparency highlights student-athletes performing at their best while the stair anchors communal spaces that bring all the student-athletes in the building together.

A variegated pattern of glass panels strategically allows natural light into the typically windowless, big-box program spaces within, contributing to the health and well-being of the student-athletes. The animated facade relates to the horizontal striations of the adjacent business school; APCs vertical glazing creates a pleasing counterpoint and also belies the relatively flat program spaces within. Meanwhile, perforated screens on the garage create a figure-ground dialogue with the glazed portion of the building. As the first building one sees upon arrival to the Livingston campus, it was critical that the parking garage contribute to the design language of the overall project.

Including best-in-class amenities for their student-athletes, the APC includes unlimited, 24-hour access to training spaces; lounge overlooking the academic quad; hydrotherapy pools; roof terrace; spirit store; and equitable, dedicated locker and film rooms for mens and womens basketball teams.

The schools colors of scarlet, gray, black, and white and its Scarlet Knight mascot are discreetly incorporated elegantly throughout the entrance, training spaces, locker rooms, nutrition cafe, lounges, offices, and conference space weaving the Rutgers, Rah story across all experiences in the building.

The APC meets the highest standards of design excellence in site response, internal planning, and design. The building establishes a contextual architectural response to the academic and athletic quads while its continuous street wall, contextual massing, and animated glazing systems provide a signature expression for the University and Rutgers Athletics as they seek to compete on the national stage.

Floor Plans