A Beacon for a Better, Healthier Future

Student Recreation Center

Whatcom Community College

Whatcom Community College wanted to create connection in the heart of their campus and promote a healthy lifestyle. The new Student Recreation Center fosters community and creates a unique experience inside and out.


41,000 sf


Bellingham, WA

Year Complete


Inside, the space is lively, open and bright. Sliding doors at the lounge and juice bar link indoor and outdoor seating areas. Interior areas are interconnected yet defined. Within the pit, low board-form concrete walls and dark recycled rubber flooring reference the weighty workouts there, while skylights and mirrors bring abundant light to the ground.

The main level has durable, polished concrete floors that are contrasted by reclaimed wood and bright blue walls. Linear recessed light strips in casework are repeated in ceilings at room entries and extend to vertical signage elements – bringing an unexpected elegance to room identification. Eddies and alcoves create a variety of seating and study venues throughout the building, providing resting, waiting or study places for all. Multi-purpose studios cater to a wide range of activities from hour to hour, as well as anticipating the needs of future users.

Overhead, running on the track is like running on a cloud. Views inward to the building’s core and outward towards campus provide an amazing variety of experiences while running. The track’s luminescent pulse is recognized as the heart of campus—It’s a beacon for a better, healthier future.