Project Category : Health & Wellness
Total Construction Cost : $34.703 Million
Total Gross Square Feet : 84,101
Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $410
How was the facility funded? : Government funds
Decades of planning went into The MARQ. The City of Southlake relied on the Parks Master Plan to guide their decisions. In 2012 the time was right to act on a community recreation center. The City commissioned Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to study and place definition to what a multigenerational recreation center for Southlake could be, what it would cost, and determine when the project could be built in Bicentennial Park. After much input from the public for guidance, the recreation center master plan took shape in the form of a building concept. With confidence, the City knew they had the right strategy. Bonds were passed and funding secured to begin the design of Southlakes first comprehensive all-purpose community recreation center later to be named The MARQ.
The project would be realized in two phases with the Active Adult Center as the first to be designed and built. The Active Adult Center was designed with modern senior citizen center best practices in mind. In 2015, the 24,000 square foot Active Adult Center opened and was named Legends Hall. To the delight of Senior Citizens, a connection to the outdoors including an amphitheater for outdoor events. Later, in 2019, a full-service recreation center named The Champions Club was added to Legends Hall as Phase 2. The Champions Club features 84,000 additional square feet of sports, recreation, multi-purpose and aquatics facilities, completing Southlakes long-awaited vision for a full-service multigenerational recreation center. The MARQ, made of two parts, Legends Hall and the Champions Club, became one with the completion of the Champions Club providing 108,000 square feet of modern recreation and wellness space.
The approach for The MARQ was to create an environment that is both dignified and playful at the same time. This is achieved through a variety of means and begins as one first arrives at the center. The main entry experience for the Champions Club, which was purposefully designed separately from Phase I Legends Hall, begins at the vehicle drop-off and a pedestrian bridge that leads you into the facility, lined with brick columns, derivative fencing, and manicured landscaping and planters. The organization of the building and the arrangement of the entries were designed to negotiate a steep hill site. In doing so, a unique design was created, allowing for an improved guest experience. A signature feature of the entry area is a grove of oak trees, protected during the buildings construction to help provide a place of rest as well as honoring the history and past of this portion of Bicentennial Park a park known as a contemporary hub for sports and recreation in Southlake.
The drama for the facility indeed occurs once one enters the building at an upper-level lobby that has direct views of the significant program spaces of the center. Directly in front is the natatorium situated behind large two-story glass walls. To the right is a look into the walk/jog track and the gymnasium below. To the left, a colorful indoor play area for children, and below is the open fitness cardio area that is connected to the main lobby by a finely detailed wood stair. A one-of-a-kind experience the Champions Club offers is the open-air feel accented by natural daylight from above and suspended, decorative, interlocking wood-clad rings hanging from the ceiling for ornamentation and branding. All these features welcome individuals into the facility with community lounges and gathering areas to foster social interaction. As exciting as the experience is upon entering The MARQ, the facility gets better and better as one in programs and experiences. These are described in the subsequent sections of this submission.
The MARQ offers several distinctive amenities that make it stand out. Two unique features are the indoor and outdoor sports turf areas. Modern recreation centers are designed with outdoor activities as extensions to the programs inside. Having a sports turf field directly accessible to the MARQ makes the programing there unique in North Texas because of its proximity to and accessibility to the building. The outdoor sports turf is programmed for a variety of activities from group fitness, athletic training, sports drills & practice, as well as open play. Summer camps and organized events fill the space and make the turf a Southlake destination year-round. Bad weather or lack of daylight can take away the enjoyment of being outside. However, The Champions Club indoor sports turf area provides opportunities and programs to be out of the weather for many of the same activities as the outdoor turf area. This multi-functional indoor turf adds great value to many programs for fitness, training, classes, and events.
Another distinctive feature of the MARQ is the natatorium. Engineering and innovation are found in the MARQ aquatics center making it a unique community pool in Texas. A European stainless-steel engineered panel system by Myrtha Pools creates tanks of water and swim lanes designed to help the fitness swimmer glide through the water with less wave action. Myrtha Pools stainless-steel chromium-rich alloy offers both the strength and resistance to chemicals and corrosion for the MARQ pool environment, providing a benefit that exceeds what is found with traditional concrete pools adding to the user experience and adding a longer life for the pool. In addition to the Myrtha Pool, the natatorium offers several innovative amenities such as a large wellness spa, toddler pool with slide, two recreation slides with race timers, a programable water wall feature, LED light water columns, and a dry sauna.
Another standout feature of the MARQ is the variety of studio fitness spaces offered for group activities of various sizes, from large group exercise classes to one-on-one training. The elite fitness studio offers spin classes with Spivi Immersive training system. It has a Queenax training system for small group cross-training or one-on-one personal workouts. The diversity of available training spaces makes the MARQ an exceptional facility for Texas.