Powerhouse wins Facilities of Merit competition
Beloit College Powerhouse’s bold, innovative, and earth-friendly design has won yet another international facilities competition.
Athletic Business honored the student union, sports, and recreation facility in the 41st annual Facilities of Merit competition, selecting it in the top ten winners of 52 buildings across the United States and Canada.
Renowned architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang transformed the power plant to preserve historical elements with state-of-the-art design and sustainable features.
The $37.5 million, 120,000-square-foot facility, located along the Rock River, opened its doors to students, faculty, and the Beloit Community in February 2020. The running track, eight-lane competition swimming pool, and cafe are popular attractions, along with meeting and other recreational spaces.
The Powerhouse taps into the Rock River for its energy needs through a radiant panel-and-slab system that provides the building’s heating and cooling. The field house’s polycarbonate, earth-friendly facade gets high marks for thermal insulation and diffusing natural light.
Athletic BusinessFacilities of Merit judges praised the Powerhouse’s bold melding of historical architectural features and industrial equipment with new sustainable practices. The power stack and coal hopper are reminiscent of times past as Beloit College students sip coffee and hang out in the Powerhouse.
“This is a lively gathering space that encourages students to interact with each other and the greater Beloit community,” judges noted.
The Powerhouse opened without debt after a successful fundraising campaign led by Beloit College President Scott Bierman, who sought to improve and define innovative spaces for students on campus.
“As students continue to blur the lines between learning, teaching, recreating, socializing, collaborating, and reflecting, those colleges, such as Beloit College, that best provide spaces and places attractive to those essential things — spaces and places dripping with human-to-human serendipity — will be the ones that best achieve their missions,” Bierman said.
Athletic Business announced the 10 Facilities of Merit winners last week.
The other 52 athletics, fitness, and recreation facilities considered were renovated and constructed in the last three years. The Powerhouse was one of three Wisconsin projects named in the competition.
The Powerhouse, along with the other nine winning facilities. will be featured in Athletic Business October online and print editions and at AB Show 2022 in Orlando, Nov. 16-19. A special awards reception will be held in November in Orlando.
The Powerhouse at Beloit College has also been awarded two prestigious design awards: Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Award in the Spaces and Places category and Italian publication The Plan’s Award 2021 in the Renovation category.
The Powerhouse design team includes:
- Architect: Studio Gang
- Associate Architect: Angus Young Associates
- Aquatic Consultant: Ramaker & Associates
- Athletic and Recreation Design Consultant: Hastings+Chivetta Architects
- Total Construction Cost : $35.7 M
- Square Feet: 120,000