The College of the Holy Cross Luth Athletic Complex Worcester, MA

Project Category : College/University

Total Construction Cost : N/A

Total Gross Square Feet : 143,000 SF (addition), 138,000 SF

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : N/A

How was the facility funded? : University funds

Project Description:

1) Functional Planning

Functionally, the new plan offers student-athletes, faculty, coaches, and spectators a number of benefits including:

  • Improved spectator experience: providing an new entrance lobby and an upper concourse to access the basketball arena. This allows spectators to access seats from above and relieves the congestion at and around the competition court, giving more of a collegiate feel to the games.
  • Clarity in the buildings organization -Located Sport Medicine convenient to all programs and field use
  • New locker rooms for the Division 1 Women's Ice Hockey team
  • Coaches suites for all programs to facilitate collaboration among programs
  • A new administration suite to allow for business operations, and a destination for visitors, recruits, and day-to-day operations
  • Basketball office suites for mens and womens programs that overlook the new basketball practice gymnasium
  • Located indoor turf practice facility within the existing hill to minimize the impact of the 68 building height and create a convenient relationship to outdoor fields and accommodations for large campus wide special events

2) Interior Design

One of the key aims for the interior design was to bring natural light into the building and provide views of the expansive city skyline. This was achieved by maximizing the glazing in the addition particularly in entries and the sports performance center, creating clerestory windows in the practice facility, and adding exterior windows to the transformed racquetball and squash courts which now serves as the new sport medicine area. Views from the existing ice hockey and basketball arenas were opened up to the lobby and mezzanine to create a synergy between the areas where student athletes perform and where they study and socialize. The basketball arena also received a refresh with lighter colors, new lighting, new bleachers, and a new court floor all in support of the new aesthetic. The chosen materials are durable and attractive, taking advantage of a neutral palette that allows the emphasis to be on the expanding graphics and athletics branding.

3) Exterior Design

The layout takes advantage of the slope of the hill, and the creative and interesting building forms help to mitigate the large mass of the indoor turf practice facility, taking advantage of the prominent position on campus. A new stainless steel back-lit cross has become an icon that is visible from across the city, and the Crusaders change the color from white to purple to signify a home team victory! In contrast to the old entrance, the new glass lobby entry is clear and inviting to visitors and hints at the vibrant activity happening within the building. A secondary entrance provides direct access to indoor practice facility while multiple doors in the rear of the facility open to practice fields, and they are sized to accommodate extra capacity for campus special events.

4) Site

The site of the building presented a challenge to the design team due to the ledge and hilltop configuration with slope and constraints on all sides. The team turned those constraints into opportunities as they imbedded the new building forms into the terrain integrating the large volume of the practice facility with the massing of the rest of the complex. The addition was also able to remove the maze-like circulation patterns of the existing building, adding clarity between athletics circulation versus public areas.

5) Cost

The renovation and expansion of the Luth Athletic complex provided the college with a significant return on investment as every program within the athletics department received benefits that improve the student athlete experience. The project placed particular emphasis on improving areas used by all athletes and prioritizing the creation of locker rooms for all programs. The resulting appearance of the building also elevates the experience for visitors and recruits.

Floor Plans