Graphic courtesy Counsilman/Hunsaker & Associates

Our dream facility combines creative thinking in design and viability. In other words, even the world’s largest indoor waterpark must have a built-in cash support system. And by surrounding the aquatics center atrium with a commercial building, a portion of which extends 20 stories above the 40-story glass dome over the waterpark, our dream design includes the mechanism for financially subsidizing the recreation enterprise.

The 40-story transparent cylinder of glass encloses a rain forest, stone formations, hanging gardens, horsetail water falls, endless rivers, wave pools, activity pools, water slides of many sizes, grottos, whirlpools, intermittent rainstorms, a submarine and a ferry boat. A multitude of waterfeatures and colored lights complement the attractions. This magical space includes cliff diving; energized water attractions; and a hideaway beach with dry side areas including snack bars, sit down cafeteria and an arcade with games of skill.

But it doesn’t stop there. As cultures begin to understand the value of fitness over a lifetime, the demand continues for healthy exercise. To meet this demand, the multifloor fitness center emphasizes aquatic therapy and training along with dry side aerobic activities. Pools and whirlpools of different temperatures provide therapeutic treatments as desired.

This dream recreation center meets the test of feasibility as well through the dynamics of the multiuse community aquatics asset and the commercial real estate complex featuring a 900-room hotel, high-rise office building and vertical retail magnet of department stores. All have visual interaction with the excitement of people enjoying the centuries-old pleasures of moving water. This complex has the benefit of a proven concept — a landmark building with a unique view such as Rockefeller Center Plaza.

It’s just as innovative when it comes to efficiency and cost savings. For instance, recycling energy reduces the operating costs of the aquatics center and provides cooling between the pools and building. All remaining costs are paid from the rent of the commercial spaces. This underwriting by the building owner, combined with revenues from user fees, will provide the cash support for the water-based atrium, the internationalclass training facility and a wet side and dry side fitness center.

The view of tenants, guests and customers in the 40-story contiguous spaces of the waterpark will provide an exciting panorama of 30-story, serpentine highspeed slides, lagoons with bright swim costumes in motion, colorful landscapes and the social interaction of offices and retail levels. This creates a visual stimulation that will be premium value for all of the space in the commercial building that overlooks the excitement.

We picture our dream facility in an Asian megatropolis of 10 million people. With a culture that participates in public activities of all types, regardless of numbers, the unique features and scale of the complex are consistent with existing smaller but similar attractions in the Far East.

Site location in the population center is relevant but flexible. Constructed with a below-ground parking garage plus a metro station for mass transit, the venue encourages access in a densely populated urban fabric.

The second aquatics asset, though in a different dimension, is the four-floor health and fitness center serving guests in the hotel, as well as workers in the offices and customers of the retail stores. This vertical specialty will provide tenant amenities for developing a health-based lifestyle. And with 20 percent of the health center dedicated to physical therapy, both wet and dry, it serves the special needs of individuals with chronic disabilities and post-surgical needs. The other 80 percent will have fitness programs for all ages. Glass elevators with an exhilarating view connect the fitness center, health spas and medical offices in the health wing of the building. Similar elevators provide connections to the office building and retail stores.

The mega-water garden in a community of millions, will attract talented young athletes to the third asset of our dream facility — a world-class training ground for the four Olympic sports: swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming. The facility will offer programs for different age groups to international-class athletes.

Innovative technology abounds in this area as well, with pace clocks built into the pool floor at each end of each lane to stimulate the performance of practice swimmers. Movable floors in one of the 50-meter pools will be used for recreation and instruction when training is not underway. The second 50-meter tank will convert to a wave pool for recreation.

The fourth quadrant of the glass-enclosed waterpark is an exposed 40-story glass “window” facing the street. People walking or driving by may peer into the atrium, which will further promote the unique and dramatic interior core. Likewise, office workers and customers in the retail component of the building will be able to see through the vertical planes of glass and onto the streets and sidewalks as well as to the buildings beyond to maintain a connection with the outdoors.

By following this enterprise plan, the aquatics center will have value as a visual attraction and as an identifiable landmark, justifying financial support from the strong commercial base wrapped around this cylinder of excitement and beauty.