Health and Wellness Center | Suffolk County Community College -- Riverhead, New York

45,000 SF | natatorium | gymnasium | fitness area | rock climbing | yoga | nursing classrooms
Inspired by the East End Long Island Pine Barrens where the Suffolk County Community College campus is set, the Center for Health and Wellness embraces a biophilic approach to design to evoke the neighboring stand of pine trees along the southern edge of campus. The Center for Health and Wellness is a 45,000-square-foot academic, athletics, and aquatic facility that contains recreational spaces for students, faculty, and the Eastern Long Island community to promote healthy living, as well as classrooms for the College’s Departments of Nursing and Physical Education. The center is organized around a sun-drenched double-height lobby and soaring rock-climbing wall that leads to a fitness room and locker rooms, with a gymnasium and a natatorium for recreation and NCAA competitions on either end of the building. The center’s custom-fabricated precast concrete panels and glass façade are modeled after abstracted representations of pine bark to highlight the importance of the natural environment in establishing a unique architectural character for Suffolk County Community College. The Center for Health and Wellness extends the existing campus plan by creating a second campus quadrangle—the new recreation quad—that will house a future multipurpose athletics field. The project was realized in collaboration with Architect-of-Record Wiedersum Associates Architects.