Pomona-Pitzer Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness

The Pomona College Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness (the Center) is a comprehensive programmatic renewal, renovation, and addition to a facility that has served the campus since 1950. Formerly known as the Memorial Gymnasium, the building occupies an important site adjacent to the campus’s historic Marston Quadrangle, its mature oak trees and architectural context of transitional arcades, loggias, and portals directly inspiring the design of the Center.


Pomona College


Claremont, California


Architecture /
Campus Environments /
Campus Life /


26,000 SF Renovation

74,000 SF Addition

LEED Platinum

The Center’s identity on the Quad is expressed as a semi-enclosed forecourt, which appropriates the scale and rhythm of the adjacent Bridges Auditorium arcade to create an outdoor room that celebrates arrival and mimics the shadow play of the ubiquitous oak tree canopies through a series of perforated metal infill panels. The building’s character, while derived from the campus’s Mediterranean roots, is conveyed in a palette of taut precast concrete panels, clerestory windows, and a unified hip roof.

A feasibility analysis determined that the only component of the existing building suitable for renovation was the indoor athletics competition gym, which became seamlessly integrated into the new addition. New program spaces include team locker rooms, athletic departmental offices, training, strength and conditioning, as well as recreational fitness and sports courts, studios, and classrooms. At the heart of the Center is a student commons, which features a terraced stair and seating areas within a skylit double-height volume. Student recreational and wellness program offerings are transparently organized around the commons, inviting participation, and conveying activity. A new recreational gymnasium located on the second level affords natural daylighting and features prominent views of the nearby San Gabriel mountains through a dramatic glass backdrop. In reference to the former Memorial Gym’s wood ceiling, the gymnasium’s structure is composed of cross-laminated timber supported by steel trusses.

The Center is LEED Platinum, with an emphasis on energy efficiency, water use reduction, and indoor environmental quality. The facility features an Energy Use Intensity of 39.2 kBtu/ft²/year and uses 40% less water than the baseline annually. Outside, the landscape design supports the ecosystem by using native and adaptive species that require less water and pesticide, creating habitat, and treating stormwater on-site that infiltrates and replenishes the groundwater. New trees were planted to reduce the heat island effect and sequester carbon. Efficient irrigation reduces potable water consumption for irrigation by 64%.