CSU Northridge Student Recreation Center

Northridge, California

Recreation facility creates new hub for student life

This LEED Gold Student Recreation Center at California State University, Northridge, is a three story 123,000-square-foot facility funded entirely by student fees. The facility includes a three-court gymnasium, a multi-activity court, a 46-foot-high rock-climbing wall, running track, racquetball courts, weight and fitness areas, and several multi-purpose studios for aerobics, martial arts and dance. Additionally, the project includes a recreational aquatics area and a 130,000-square-foot illuminated synthetic turf field for outdoor recreational activities.

The project’s mission was to create a student recreational facility where students can see and be seen in a place where they can work out, hang out and relax in a sustainable environment. The facility was envisioned to become the hub of student life and was strategically located to promote pedestrian use with direct access to existing and future student housing. In addition, the facility is located adjacent to one of the main transit stops used by commuting students.

The design challenge was to accommodate an extensive program on a constrictive, narrow site with unfavorable solar orientation. Located on the outer fringe of the university, the building delineates a new campus edge. Utilizing this unique position, the east façade is composed primarily of three stories of glass, creating a “human billboard” adjacent to the new recreational field that reveals the activities within to the student body and the surrounding community. The “billboard” is angled forward to self-shade the east-facing walls of glass that are also protected by the roof overhang and a series of vertical perforated metal panels that reduce the solar heat gain and glare by 50 percent.

The university’s mission of creating a model sustainable campus was addressed by incorporating passive and active sustainable elements to promote and achieve water conservation, energy-efficiency and indoor environmental quality.

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