Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs set themselves apart in the health club industry,operationally and structurally. While many gyms
cater to individuals who are already fit, ACAC’s primary
mission is to reach out to inactive adults and their families. With
a vision of creating a sanctuary for health and wellness,
ACAC’s team of architects, designers and facility managers
began planning a new club in downtown Charlottesville, Va., in
2004. The group gave primary consideration to how the
facility’s aquatics center could inspire individuals to
become more active.
To make fitness activities accessible to people of all ages and
abilities, ACAC incorporated several special features into its
downtown club’s aquatic space. In addition to a large
activity pool for classes and lap swimmers, there’s a
warm-water therapy pool with hydraulic resistance jets. In-house
physical therapists and certified group instructors help
individuals with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and
chronic fatigue syndrome experience the benefits of exercise.
Relaxation and rejuvenation also are important for overall health.
After a satisfying workout, members can unwind in the hot tub spa.
The rooftop oasis is another popular spot. With its tranquil
vanishing-edge pool and scenic mountain views, this soothing space
is the perfect retreat from the pressures of daily life.
In addition to providing exceptional amenities, the aquatics center
is aesthetically attractive. Floor-to-ceiling windows line the
exterior walls to help draw the natural light and outdoor
environment into the facility. Imaginative design details, such as
detailed leaf tile mosaics, add to the building’s aesthetic
beauty. To complete the image, plants are plentiful throughout,
adding color and life to spaces that might otherwise seem barren.
Besides providing pleasant ambiance, lush greenery improves indoor
air quality by minimizing airborne molds, dust and toxins. Some
studies also have shown that plants lower stress levels and
decrease blood pressure.
The adoption of organic processes and products in the facility
benefits members and the environment. The facility relies on
saltwater chlorination in the indoor and outdoor pools, which many
believe is more economical, safe and eco-friendly than some
alternatives. Saltwater pools produce no chloramine odor, and the
water is gentler on swimmers eyes, skin and hair, and because
saltwater chlorinators repeatedly recycle the salt, no byproduct
wastes are added to the environment.
All told, in an effort to create a welcoming workout environment,
ACAC’s downtown aquatics center merges comfort, beauty,
utility and environmental awareness. By creating a retreat from
daily pressures, ACAC is designed to inspire members to embrace
their personal health and the environment.
NUTS & BOLTS
Cost: $6 million
Aquatic space: 6,347 square feet
Dream amenities: Warm-water therapy pool with
whirlpool spa, and 25-meter lap/activity pool; second outdoor pool
with sun deck
Designer: Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative
- Aquatic Designer: Aquatic
- Pool Contractor: Alexander
- Lochinvar Corp.:Heaters
- Marathon Electric: Pumps
- Pentair Water Commercial Pool and Aquatics: Filters,
- Pool Pak: Dehumidifiers
- Safeway Electric: Lighting
- Swim Gym: Water-play equipment
- TMI: Chemical control systems
- Treeforms: Lockers