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    Colby College Athletics & Recreation Center


    An emblematic sports building for college, campus and community

    Location:Maine, USA
    Size:35,000 m²
    Client:Colby College
    Awards:Civic Trust Award;
    WAN Award: Leisure Category (Silver);
    Architizer A+ Award;
    Athletic Business Award: Facility of Merit;
    ENR New England Award: Excellence in Sustainability Award of Merit;
    AIA New England Design Awards, Merit Award;
    NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Award.

    “This project is crisp and welcoming; carefully considered in every detail to make for an exceptional experience for each and every member of the Colby community ”

    Colby President David A. Greene

    “This cluster of spaces have been able to achieve a solution that addresses the passive arrangement of spaces to minimise energy wastage while creating an elegant external form.”

    Civic Trust Awards Jury

    The bold design of HAARC complements the existing campus architecture of this New England institution, while signalling a new chapter for Colby College athletics and recreation. The single greatest investment on the campus since Colby was founded, this project is rooted the College’s guiding ethos, supporting physical and mental health and encouraging teamwork through sport. As well as serving the College, the facility has already become a valuable asset for the wider community.

    The highly functional 350,000-square-foot building includes facilities for track and field as well as tennis courts, ice arena, Olympic-sized pool, gym, squash courts, and fitness centre, all supported by ancillary accommodation. Intimately sized venues deliver the required capacity and create an intense spectator experience with dramatic sightlines and seating in close proximity to the action.

    The scale of the project provided the opportunity to create a building both emblematic and signalling ambition but also designed to create a human-scaled experience despite its size. A series of beautiful, naturally-lit spaces encourage people to sit, work, reflect or socialise. A central connecting courtyard establishes a cohesive identity across five separate venues, and orientates visitors via strong visual connections between and across the surrounding venues. A high level of transparency and glazing showcases the performative nature of sport and maximises views in and out for spectators, athletes, and casual observers. Open in the evening and illuminated after dark, the buildings provides a welcoming beacon for all on campus.

    As a carbon-neutral institution, environmental sustainability was key to the College. This integrated sports facility allows for the sharing of resources, including building systems, reduces the overall building footprint. Air handling units are shared between venues and heat energy is saved, moved from ice chilling to pool heating equipment. Communal areas such as showers and lockers provide maximum efficiency with staggered use over the full cycle of seasonal sports.