Cleveland State University - Recreation Center


The CSU campus suffers from a student perception of solid, unwelcoming buildings. The Recreation Center became a catalyst for a renewed focus on student life. To meet this challenge the design focused on creating an open and inviting building. To get the most impact out of the inherent energy that a recreation center possesses the activity spaces were designed to interconnect in both plan and section, creating what the University described as a “building without walls.”


The openness was further enhanced by the campus planning objectives that were incorporated into the design. The building extends the campus’ indoor interconnect link system and creates an identifiable public access point to the elevated walkway.

In addition to connecting to campus, the elevated walkway level passes through the primary activity spaces providing views into the amenities within, as well as connecting to a parking garage.

These design features integrate the Recreation Center into the daily campus life as students, faculty, and visitors experience the building as part of their daily movement to and from the parking garage to campus.



LEED® NC 2.1 Certification awarded

Extensive daylight harvesting enhanced the core concept of the project, and helped to achieve certification with little to no additional costs. In addition, concepts such as rainwater recovery, pervious paving, recycled content, local materials, daylight sensors, and heat recovery systems were also integrated into the design.


2009 Athletic Showcase Facilities of Merit, Athletic Business
2008, 2007 Architectural Showcase, Athletic Business
2007 Outstanding Indoor Sports Facility, National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
2007 CES Award for Excellence, Cleveland Engineering Society

Project Credits

Associate Architect: Weber Murphy Fox
Salvatore Canciello was the lead designer/project architect while at Sasaki Associates.
Bryan Dunkelberger was the interior designer while at Sasaki Associates.