As part of a major renovation, a 16,000- square-foot natatorium was added to a community activities center in Grapevine, Texas. The indoor space includes two 22-foot-high, 170-foot-long water slides, a zero-depth-entry children’s zone, climbing area, lazy river and lap lanes. The addition was built for a growing community and to suit all ages and abilities. A current channel, conversation areas and bubble benches were included so members of the very active local seniors can engage in resistance walking, socializing or relaxing.
Lap of luxury
Rockwork accents and waterfalls were placed throughout the facility to evoke a luxury destination and push the design envelope for municipal recreation centers. Generous light reinforces this vibe. To promote this effect, the gym was placed on the upper floor, above the lap pool, to look down on the leisure pool. This creates a more expansive feeling in both spaces and allows plenty of light in from the gym. Large windows on the other side of the building flood the space with natural light.
The two-story interactive play structure was designed to resemble the Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift in Grapevine’s sister city of West Lothian, Scotland, meant to connect two canals. The children’s area was located toward the front of the facility so parents would have a clear view of their little ones. With the interactive play structure toward the back of this zone, older children are prompted to the rear, clearing the zero-depth-entry for smaller children to play in full view of their parents.
The facility offers many tips of the hat to its location. To honor Texas, rows of lone stars serve as lane markers in the floor of the lap pool, and the zero-depth-entry area features a large blue star. An outdoor spraypad was formed in the shape of the state, with spray nozzles marking each major city. Grapevine receives its tributes, too. The two-story indoor-outdoor slides come in green to represent vines, and purple to evoke grapes. Clusters of grapes and trees float in the center of the activity pool. Knowing that the aquatics center would experience high traffic, the designers spread out the major features to reduce competition for space. The components used most for exercise —the lap pool and current channel — are placed at opposite ends of the building to spread out the swimmers and resistance walkers, and open up the middle of the natatorium.
Deep in the Heart...
An interactive spray feature was made in the shape of Texas. Nozzles are placed to mark the location of major cities throughout the state, including Grapevine.