The Gardner Integrated Athletic Center accommodates all athletic and recreation activities at Haverford College. The design leverages contemporary building technology and materials, tempered by an understanding of the scale and texture of the college’s “plain and simple” Quaker aesthetic. Supporting its role as a major social hub on campus, the facility was designed with a high degree of transparency, offering many see-and-be-seen opportunities.
A modern building informed by the spirit of the College’s oldest edifices, the Gardner IAC is designed as a collection of discrete, program-specific masses that modulate the visual impact of this large structure. Shaped in familiar ways with gable roofs, stone base and warm stucco walls, the building recalls the architecture of Founder’s Hall (1833), the College’s first building.
The IAC houses three NCAA basketball courts (also used for volleyball and badminton), as well as five international standard singles squash courts with a spectators’ gallery, a fitness center with over 100 cardiovascular, selectorized and free weight machines, a practice fencing venue and a multi-purpose room for aerobic, dance and yoga training.
To achieve the building’s LEED-Gold certification, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson worked with Haverford to select a building site that optimizes exposure to the sun. This maximizes natural day lighting, while harvesting solar energy with an array of hot water generating solar collectors that heat the main lobby floor and supplement the building’s hot water needs. The building’s position, set into the fall of the land, provides natural insulation for the structure and lowers the amount of energy required to heat and cool the space within. Selection of materials received special attention, integrating renewable resources and high-recycled content.