SUNY Cortland's Park Center houses a range of venues including an ice hockey arena, natatorium, basketball arena and several smaller half gyms housing dance studios, and a fitness center. This assemblage of spaces accounts for the size of the building but also led to technical challenges of internal temperature and humidity variation. The original oversize brick exterior had been poorly installed and was deteriorating badly to the point of complete replacement. Destructive testing was done to verify the origin of the wall system failures.
The project included removal of the masonry veneer and replaced it with a rain screen system that addressed the original design shortcomings and improved the energy efficiency of the exterior walls. The idea of using a rainscreen technology with continuous insulation creating vastly improved vapor control immediately made sense to a client looking for long term solutions. The design was inspired by the activities taking place inside, the design uses the idea of human movement to lend a sense of scale while subtly reflecting the functions within each volume. The façade of the ice rink uses the idea of the blade marks a skater may make crisscrossing the surface. The façade of the pool is designed to evoke ripples in the water and the multiple round windows in the basketball court track a ball moving through the air. Weaving the larger venues together is a warm red terra cotta base, reminiscent of the Cortland Red Dragons color but also designed to resist the constant practice of the lacrosse team.