Southwest Recreation Center at the University of Florida 3150 Hull Road • Gainesville, Florida

Designer(s)

RDG Planning and Design

Client(s)

University of Florida
Southwest Recreation Center
Southwest Recreation Center
Southwest Recreation Center
Southwest Recreation Center
Southwest Recreation Center
Southwest Recreation Center

Utility Goals

Reduce pollutant loads in rainwater
Reduce downstream damage from runoff
Safely move, control, contain rainwater
Capture rain for reuse (of all kinds, human and natural, from irrigation and toilet flushing to groundwater recharge)

Utility

The basic stormwater management concept at the Southwest Recreation Center is capture, convey, cleanse, detain and discharge.  Roof runoff falls via downspouts into 6 pebble-filled cast stone bowls at the base of the building façade; as the bowls overflow, water cascades into pebble-filled runnels that carry the rain across the entry sidewalk to a tiered bioswale filled with native plants and boulders.  When it reaches the bioswale, each runnel edges a checkdam that controls water dropping into the adjacent lower basin.  The bioswale filters the runoff and detains it in a series of 7 tiered basins in all, with some infiltration occurring before the remaining runoff is discharged into the municipal stormwater system. 

Amenity Goals

Education
Recreation
Safety
Public Relations
Aesthetic Richness

Amenity

“Let the rain shine” became a key intention in this artful rainwater solution; and so the rain-focused landscape provides a bold statement of University values and a rich entry experience at the Recreation Center.  And, with 6 runnels reaching out from the front façade to 6 brightly (and differently) colored rain-related sculptures, each runnel then extending beyond to the lush bioswale that fronts the entire building, this is a rain amenity that will not be missed.