2021 Rutgers Making a Champion Guide

S T R U C T U R E + F L E X I B I L I T Y The programmatic layout and flexibility of the APC creates greater opportunities and positive outcomes for all of the building’s users, and for the overall Rutgers University athletics program. To achieve the experience that so many appreciate about the APC, the design had to incorporate a diverse range of components in a way that was both highly structured yet tremendously flexible. Teams needed dedicated access to certain spaces and resources, such that they would be available whenever needed. For instance, before the APC, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams had to share access to practice courts—with each other as well as a range of other athletic programs, including wrestling and gymnastics competitions and university events, from graduations to dance-a-thons to concerts. All of this undermined each teams’ ability to schedule practice. Similarly, Men’s Wrestling and Women’s Gymnastics had to share their facilities with recreational users and events, meaning that critical time could be lost due to factors outside of their control. Now, not only are these issues addressed, but as one staff member explained in their survey, “The [APC] is an overall positive benefit to the athletics program and the university.” Kit of Parts The key to achieving an appropriate balance and character of programs and experiences in the APC was to have a “spine” of shared areas that link key programmatic components. Elite intercollegiate practice facilities typically share many of the same programmatic components, but in order to celebrate Rutgers and provide a custom experience, the “kit of parts” that comprise the APC was assembled in a unique way, such that there is a rhythm of public and private spaces. Access to dedicated practice areas and locker room suites occurs off the spine, and spaces for gathering and interaction were placed at key nodes throughout, plus indoor/ outdoor spaces available on multiple floors. Deputy Director Baumgartner explains that “each team in [the APC] has its own footprint, but there are spaces that bring people together… There’s a synergy across programs that’s really unique.” Sharing resources and spaces not only allows for a more efficient use of investments, but also helps foster inter-team connections and a sense of community within the building. Achieving this balance required thoughtful and creative design. The fourth floor terrace—one of the most dynamic outdoor spaces in the building—has served a broad range of functions. When equipped with large screens, it can host big events for its athletic programs or fundraising. On a day-to-day basis, however, it is used for informal meetings, study groups, and as a respite for fresh air and daylight. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has enabled coach and team meetings to continue in a safe, socially distanced manner. Likewise, the Nutrition Center and Training Table has helped unify the teams by serving as a hub for nutrition and dining that has become a key place to socialize and connect. 32 RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center Perkins Eastman