Kirkwood Community College Recreation Center was the first of its kind on campus. A well-needed addition to this growing school, Neumann Monson was chosen as Project Architect and Architectural Wall Systems as Glazier for this new-build project.
Founding Partner and Principal, Kevin Monson says, “the program was simple for the community college. They had no recreation center, only sports halls. This was their first multi-purpose building which encompassed a running track, basketball courts, floor space for tennis and badminton, weight lifting, cardio area and aerobics space.”
This large-scale new build had several major challenges to overcome during the design process including a limited budget, sourcing a daylighting solution and creating an overarching design theme: openness, light filled and an uplifting space for activities. When sourcing a daylighting solution for this project, like all Neumann Monson projects, daylighting is a hallmark design feature of their designs. Monson recalled seeing a journal advertisement in the early 2000’s for Solera® by Advanced Glazings Ltd. We chose Solera® because we were looking for a “durable, long lasting and high-performance solution that incorporated glare control, high insulation value and energy efficiency.” The design goal of this project was to have natural daylight throughout the space, deep into the building’s core which can be tricky. Additionally, Monson says, “The project concept was open and wide with high ceilings in the center core and other areas had lower ceilings, so very few staff were needed for operation.”
Solera® was placed strategically in the high bay area offering “beautiful light, glare free and is the most significant characteristic of the building diffusing natural daylight equally around the track and integrating seamlessly with vision glass allowing for view of the pond and access to nature” says Monson.
The open floor plan project offered more than daylighting during the day time, at night the building glows during the winter months for a beautiful lantern effect. “The building always glows and becomes a magnet for student use. Solera® draws both a daytime and night time glow from within” says Monson.
“Kirkwood Community College Recreation Center was very well received by clients and the public that uses the space” says Monson. By having daylighting at the center of the design, Neumann Monson was able to create a long-lasting functional and beautifully daylighting new-build recreation center that students, staff and the community have been enjoying for well over 10 years with the same high-quality daylighting from Solera® since the building first opened.
AGL is proud to have worked with Neumann Monson and Architectural Wall Systems for the successful completion of the Kirkwood Community College Recreation Center.