Intercollegiate Rowing Facility
The Kansas State University Intercollegiate Rowing Facility began with the university’s goal of creating a world-class student athlete experience for each of their teams. Women’s rowing was accepted as a varsity sport in the 1996-97 academic year. As the program grew to 90 student-athletes, there was a clear need to help those student-athletes maximize their time-use efficiency and dramatically enhance their training opportunities. For that reason, the facility was sited with close proximity to the Academic Learning Center and Student-Athlete Performance Table in the West Stadium Center.
The centerpieces of the 9,000 square foot rowing facility are two 2,800 gallon free-standing tanks for water resistance and technique training. Here, student-athletes are able to train on water when being outdoors is not an option. The building also includes 40 rowing performance machines (egometers), locker rooms, a sports medicine/training area, and offices for coaches and support staff.
The limestone cladding of the exterior connects the facility with the Kansas State campus vernacular. Wood elements imbue a touch of natural warmth. An overhang that cantilevers over the main entrance subtly mimics the shape of a boat. The building was conceived as two offset masses, a reference to the basic strategy of rowing. Exterior transparency allows activities within to be seen from the outside, while also giving athletes an opportunity to experience the outdoor environment in which they compete. Interior elements of the facility were composed in pairs, another allusion to competitive rowing. Each of the two tanks features wood clad ceiling treatment overhead, while pairs of columns create an interior rhythm.