This project is about movement. Each of the decisions made in developing this building was thought of in terms of how movement in and through the building coincided with the university’s primary program held in the building, kinesiology and wellness center. From the very most universal movement – that of the sun’s path – to the most personal movement – that of foot traffic on the walking surfaces – everything in this building reinforces the idea of movement and the subsequent energy that can be produced from it.
The initial concept was to connect the north campus with the new, developing campus south of Divarty Street. The design strategy boldly suggests this connection by extending the existing walking paths and trails directly through the heart of our building. The curving ramp connects the north-south axis of the primary quad and allows pedestrians direct access and views into the activity of the building and then returns to grade in the amphitheater connecting to the nature trail. The curved north façade parallels the sun’s path on the summer solstice and adds to the kinetic quality of the building by using large wind turbines in near-constant motion in the prevailing wind and smaller kinetic wind “ivy” that creates patterns of motion and sound. Together these, along with the channel glass dance studios that protrude through the ivy screen, project a powerful effect of movement, energy, and activity to the campus.
All of these aspects of the building contribute to the positive energy of the campus, that is to say, this is beyond a zero-energy building, actually adding power back to the grid and creating energy from and for each of its participants.