Biophilic design can enhance well-being, support physical performance, and expedite healing. These outcomes are particularly nourishing for student athletes – who experience intensive physical wear and tear as well as emotional exertion.
When Liberty University decided to build an Academic & Performance Center, biophilia was part of the final solution, but not the initial scope of work. The building first needed to support the student athlete through spaces for academic study, strength and conditioning, and training. But, it also needed to be something more – a building celebrating well-being and place-making.
The Liberty University Academic & Performance Center shelters three vital components for the intercollegiate athlete’s full development: an Academic Advising Center, Strength & Conditioning, and Sports Medicine & Training. These program components create dynamic atmospheres and synergies throughout a building that celebrates wellbeing for the body, mind, and spirit.
The unique site conditions and program requirements demanded an organizational and sectional solution – implemented in the form of a light-filled atrium – to allow daylight to penetrate deep into the space. The atrium, or light garden, is the spinal element that connects all the different program pieces together, positively affecting them with daylight and natural system flows, while allowing for spectacular views to the mountains.
Through the eventual incorporation of biophilic elements such as abundant daylight, water features, interior vegetation, a green roof, and the rhythmic expression of natural materials, the building becomes more than just a physical expression of support for student athletes. It becomes a holistic experience for students.