Four Recreation Center Design Innovations

The future is now for recreation centers around the world. As the needs, desires, and tastes of individuals evolve, so too must the designs of recreation center architects for these community-defining facilities. The “rec center” of old is undergoing a necessary transformation for the following reasons:

Evolving needs of your community: Your citizens are looking for innovative fitness options beyond standard free weights. They are also looking for programming that goes beyond fitness and feeds all aspects of their lives, including arts and meeting spaces.

More options exist beyond recreation centers: While recreation centers have a tendency to be a more affordable option than privately owned facilities, some of their amenities may be of lower quality or simply not available. To compete for revenue and the public’s attention, recreation center design must be innovative and serve a variety of interests.

Opportunities exist to better serve the community: By creating an innovative recreation center, your community has an opportunity to serve the needs of its citizens. If your community in considering the optimization of a recreation center asset, it’s important to determine what people want. What would make them choose your recreation center over other viable options?

Innovation in Recreation Center Design

Recreation center architects throughout the country are working with communities to create venues that are not only aesthetically-pleasing, but highly functional for a variety of audiences. Through our experience with over 2,000 communities internationally, we’ve kept a close eye on several groundbreaking design practices that have increased expectations for what a recreation center can look like and how it can serve a community. Below are a few of the most notable recreation center design innovations that we’ve seen:

Glass Façades

There’s something utterly eye-popping about a glass-front building. Recreation centers are increasingly taking to this trend in their design. In many communities, this design feature is making recreation centers standout among neighboring buildings and garner numerous awards. Beyond aesthetics, glass façades showcase the activities within the recreation center, serving as a strong promotional tool for the facility.

Multi-Use Spaces

In an effort to maximize available space and create more flow within a facility, recreation centers are being designed using with spaces that can serve multiple purposes. Gyms can be converted to performance spaces. Meeting rooms can be converted to yoga studios and fitness classrooms. Part of this trend is a move towards divided court spaces that can facilitate a variety of indoor games at the same time, including basketball, volleyball, and pickleball. When designed well, these spaces allow for recreation centers to provide a diverse set of programming that enhances the lives of community residents.

Eco-Friendly Features

An emerging trend in recent years across all facets of design is the push for eco-friendly facilities. Recreation center design is no different. Facilities such as the Creekside Community Recreation Centre, preserve resources though the use of a passive cooling storm water system and are built with renewable materials. In Lille, France, the L’Arbrisseau Neighborhood Center is powered with an insulating photovoltaic system. Both recreation centers demonstrate how eco-friendly design can not only yield a more financially-efficient building but also aid in protecting our natural resources.

Indoor Park Settings

Bringing nature indoors, more recreation centers are creating park-like settings in their facilities. The Largo Community Center in Largo, FL does this masterfully by placing trees in their lobby giving the area the look and feel of a park. This feature is inviting for guests and provides an eclectic introduction to the recreation center’s bevy of features.

These innovations and many more help to enhance the role that recreation centers have in communities throughout the world. While groundbreaking in scope, all of these innovations are attainable for your facility. Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management has the resources and expertise to take your concept for a new recreation center or the optimization of a current one to life. We understand the role of recreation centers in elevating the health and vitality of your community and will be there with you every step of the way. To learn more, schedule a discovery call at 727-474-3845.