Anna Fascitelli Fitness + Wellness Center - University of Rhode Island

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The new Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center is at the heart of the University of Rhode Island’s campus, and is the result of a design collaboration between S3 Design and Kite Architects. With a bold, wood-lined cantilevered entrance and glass volumes that reflect the wooded surroundings, the project is a case study of how mid-century modern buildings can be re-imagined and refreshed by using a preservation sensibility viewed through a creative lens.

As a former dining hall, the original Roger Williams Commons building was designed by Pietro Belluschi, and winner of a 1965 Progressive Architecture award and already boasted large, light, open spaces. The new design is inspired by the original building’s cantilevered structural volumes that grow from the center, and adds new volumes with a lightweight glass structure to form a new entry, lobby, and stair.

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The interior was opened up dramatically exposing views through the building. The interior is light-filled, open, and vibrant, and projects energy outward to the campus. Special attention was given to the original orientation to the quarry pond to the south which appeared in original renderings, but had long since become overgrown. New additions and interior spaces such as a mind-body studio were opened to face the tranquil natural scenery. 

The fitness center is oriented towards undergraduate students who live on campus and is centrally located to many of the dormitories. It includes new cardio and weight training areas, studios for group classes, and expanded health and wellness offerings.  Balancing the size and placement of program elements within the existing structure with a logical sequence and flow were critical to the success of the Wellness Center.

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Sustainability

The project has achieved the certification of LEED-Gold level. Green aspects include features geared toward the fitness center environment, such as bottle fillers to encourage re-usable containers and avoid pre-packaged bottled water, and athletic flooring made from recycled rubber. All new heating and power systems optimize energy use, and new full glazing and exterior wall retrofits conserve energy.

Awards

Rhode Island Monthly Gold Design Award New Construction, 2015
AIA Rhode Island Architectural Design Honor Award, 2016
 

Project Credit

Associate Architect: KITE Architects

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