Willamette University Sparks Fitness Center

Hennebery Eddy designed a transformational renovation of the Sparks Athletic Center, reorganizing and expanding the existing mixed-use center to improve circulation and campus connections. Using the building’s “good bones” but reimagining its offerings, the design takes advantage of underutilized space and focuses on the services and amenities that attract modern students — such as individual and group exercise/training spaces, a large multipurpose room, a student lounge, and increased number and size of team locker rooms. Transparency and natural light were reinforced throughout the building, and large, colorful graphics infuse energy into the space while also improving wayfinding.

Driven by sustainable initiatives, the project achieved a LEED Gold certification. Efforts to maximize energy efficiency and to integrate renewable, sustainable resources, including reused wood flooring from the old racquetball courts, contributed to this certification. For its exciting program offerings and its sustainable features, the Sparks Center is now a key stop on the campus tour.