The City of Arlington envisioned a park and recreation aquatic center that was emblametic of the city’s self-image as a diverse and inclusive, world-class urban community. They sought a sophisticated, sustainable design which would fully integrate the park environment and the monumental context of Washington, D.C.
Hughes Group Architects and Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture began working on the project in 2006. After the completion of schematic design the project was placed on hold, but in early 2011 the design team was authorized to proceed, with additional focus on enhanced sensitivity to environmental sustainability and energy conservation, resulting in a higher operating-cost recovery.
The ultramodern 105,000-s.f. aquatic recreation center will include a 50-meter competition pool with instruction and warm-up pool, therapy pool, sauna, spectator seating for 1,000, family leisure pool, locker rooms, weight and fitness area, multipurpose rooms, child watch area, and snack bar and vending space, accommodating an array of community events.
Environmental sustainability has become a key note of the design. The elegant curved roof is designed to make use of stormwater runoff and the louvered vertical wall elements have been tuned, like a violin, to the flow of the sun in order to maximize light harvesting while mitigating the hash effects of direct sun in the aquatic zones. The most vivid outcome of this strategy is the fact that the aquatic zones were designed to operate with natural lighting only. This represents a huge energy savings for the life of the structure.
The facility is currently scheduled to open in 2015.
City and County of Arlington, Virginia
Hughes Group Architects
Phase 1 Building: $42.9 Million