Like all recreational facility projects on the UT campus, The Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex was student-focused and established guiding principles centered on that theme. This facility has filled a campus void by offering new opportunities for recreation, socializing and community building.
Overall student use of Gregory Gym has increased
since the facility opened. New opportunities for special events now
are available on campus. Student organizations and departments have
hosted socials, pool parties, concerts, dive-in movies and water
recreation tournaments in the new facility.
The facility footprint transformed a parking lot
and underutilized buildings into a highly functional and unique
recreational space. The design incorporates the traditional feel of
the UT campus with exciting new outdoor features.
This is a unique place for recreation and respite
on the very urban campus in Austin. Grown from the highly
successful recreation program, the Aquatic Complex offers dedicated
informal recreation water space for active or passive use.
Well-designed open deck areas are filled with sun and shade to meet
needs of all users. Multiple recreation venues support traditional
and nontraditional activities simultaneously.
This facility is specially crafted to support many
activities throughout the day and night. With outstanding lighting
for evening activities, most areas of the deck have multiple
identities, changing from a sun-drenched pool complex by day to a
richly detailed, resort-like atmosphere at night.
“Like No Place Else on Campus” is the
slogan that UT RecSports uses to describe the Aquatic
Nestled in to an urban setting, the Aquatic Complex clearly fits
into the university environs and commands its own place in the
Texas Hill Country. Built with a large quantity of exposed
limestone and native natural materials, the facility blends into
the campus, integrating Waller Creek into its east perimeter.
The complex has unique neighbors with differing
aesthetics. To relate to Waller Creek, the complex uses native
plantings and incorporates vegetation on the hillside. On the west
perimeter, Gregory Gym’s strong architectural forms and
rigidly articulated detail serve as the complex’s border. The
overall complex connects and interacts with its surroundings to
create a great home for recreation.
Balancing budget against quality and
constructability yields innovative design for the Gregory Aquatic
Complex. Against the rich palette of natural limestone, the outdoor
pool deck was crafted in multiple panels of colored and salt
finished concrete to create an attractive, highly functional
The “Lounge Ledge” provides an
innovative and extremely popular venue for social recreation
— or simple relaxation. This large pool area with a 6-inch
water depth provides a wonderful place for partially submerged
lounge chairs and semi-immersed pool bathers. It is the most
popular spot at the leisure pool venue.
The reception garden is a unique venue within this
facility. Using crushed limestone aggregate as the finished deck
surface, this area creates a wonderfully soft and comfortable
environment. Flanked by highly articulated multi-trunk trees and a
bamboo forest, the garden is a place of special respite for
Technology surrounds modern culture, and this
facility uses it well to enhance the student experience. The entire
outdoor deck is blanketed with WiFi connectivity. Exterior seating
areas are reinforced with hard-wired Ethernet connections and
duplex power for student access to campus
The entire deck is laced with multiple sound
system zones for distribution of background music and public
address presentations. Multiple locations on deck support live
music platforms with dynamic sound reinforcement opportunities.
The main control building for the outdoor pools is
interlinked with the main control desk in Gregory Gym for parallel
and redundant monitoring of systems and pool conditions.
This project was conceived during the work process
in the mid-1990s that created the Campus Master Plan for the
University of Texas at Austin. It creates a one-of-a-kind,
student-focused space that endorses the rich heritage of this