Pomona College – Pomona-Pitzer Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness

  • area / size 100,000 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Solomon Cordwell Buenz completed the Pomona-Pitzer Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness at Pomona College in Claremont, California.

    The Pomona-Pitzer Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness (the Center) is a comprehensive programmatic renewal, renovation, and addition to a facility that has served the campus since 1950. The building occupies an important site adjacent to the campus’s historic Marston Quadrangle, its mature oak trees and architectural context of transitional arcades, loggias, and portals directly inspiring the design of the Center.

    The Center’s identity on the Quad is expressed as a semi-enclosed forecourt, which appropriates the scale and rhythm of the adjacent Bridges Auditorium arcade to create an outdoor room that celebrates arrival and mimics the shadow play of the ubiquitous oak tree canopies through a series of perforated metal infill panels. The building’s character, while derived from the campus’s Mediterranean roots, is conveyed in a palette of taut precast concrete panels, clerestory windows, and a unified hip roof.

    A feasibility analysis determined that the only component of the existing building suitable for renovation was the indoor athletics competition gym, which became seamlessly integrated into the new addition. New program spaces include team locker rooms, athletic departmental offices, training, strength and conditioning, as well as recreational fitness and sports courts, studios, and classrooms. At the heart of the Center is a student commons, which features a terraced stair and seating areas within a skylit double-height volume. Recreational and wellness program offerings are transparently organized around the commons, inviting participation, and conveying activity. A new recreational gymnasium located on the second level affords natural daylighting and features prominent views of the San Gabriel mountains through a dramatic glass backdrop. The gymnasium’s structure is composed of cross-laminated timber supported by steel trusses.

    The Center is LEED Platinum, designed with an emphasis on energy efficiency, water use reduction, and indoor environmental quality. The facility features an EUI of 39.2 kBtu/ft²/year and uses 40% less water than the baseline annually. The landscape design supports the ecosystem by using native and adaptive species that require less water and pesticide, creating habitat, and treating stormwater on-site that infiltrates and replenishes the groundwater. Efficient irrigation reduces potable water consumption for irrigation by 64%.

    Design: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
    Photography: Matthew Millman