Integrated sports centre honoured at AIA Top Ten Green Projects awards 2009
The Charles Hostler Student Center by VJAA in Minneapolis on the campus of the American University of Beirut has been commended by the AIA as one of the Top Ten Green Projects for 2009. The awards recognise projects as examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.
According to the AIA the Centre, "provides a model for environmentally responsive design that meets the social needs of the campus and the larger region." Situated on Beirut's seafront and main public thoroughfare, the new 204,000 sq ft facility accommodates competitive and recreational athletic facilities for swimming, basketball, handball, volleyball, squash, exercise and weight training. The space also includes an auditorium with associated meeting rooms, cafeteria with study space, and underground parking for 200 cars.
The program is organized as a cluster of interior and exterior spaces rather than a single building, allowing the building forms themselves to redistribute air, activity and shade. The east-west orientation of the building forms helps to shade exterior courtyards, reducing the amount of southern exposure. The orientation also directs nighttime breezes and daytime sea breezes to cool outdoor spaces.
Green spaces on the rooftops allow for a more pleasing physical and visual integration with the upper campus, providing usable rooftop areas for activities and reducing the amount of exposure to the sun. Usable program area on the site is increased through shading and ventilation of outdoor spaces.