Colby College’s New Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center
August. Designed by London-based Hopkins Architects as lead design architect and Boston-based Sasaki as executive architect, the 350,000-square-foot building transcends conventional athletics and recreation center design, efficiently and elegantly integrating all of Colby’s indoor competition venues, training areas, and other support spaces to comprehensively serve every athletics, recreation, and wellness program on campus.
The bold design complements the existing traditional campus architecture, signaling a new chapter for Colby athletics and recreation. The center is another example of the College’s ongoing commitment to excellence, and is one in a series of investments to create and support best-in-class programs that set it apart as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.
This facility is home to a range of program types and venues, including a multi-use field house (containing an indoor track, tennis courts and a climbing wall), ice arena, the only Olympic-sized pool in the state of Maine, a competition gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, squash courts, a strength and fitness center, studios, as well as multipurpose spaces, locker rooms, sports medicine facilities, offices, support spaces, and outdoor amenities.
The entrance invites visitors into a lobby that opens up the heart of the building and unifies around a common source of natural light and long viewsheds, functioning as a central crossroads for the new center. The entire three-floor building design is deliberately transparent to maximize views into venues and to intuitively articulate the building’s organization — conveying a sense of intimacy despite its expansive scale.
The scale of the building is large, at 350,000 SF, but the design team’s attention to human-scaled interior architecture and intuitive circulation support the visitor experience
An interior courtyard allows light to stretch across the floorplate in every direction and offers views from many abutting spaces
The Olympic-size Myrtha pool is the largest in the state of Maine and was designed to accommodate large championship events for the region
The beautiful building and site in concert are a testament to the team approach which included intrinsic collaboration from a wide list of Colby stakeholders, Consigli as the construction manager, and the design teams led by Hopkins, Sasaki, MVVA, and Arup.