Designing a campus wellbeing center

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Recreation & Wellbeing Center

Madison, Wisconsin

The new Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison addresses the current and future recreation, fitness and wellness needs of their campus. The new facility provides the UW-Madison community an experience unique to the University, fully taking advantage of its natural surroundings. It is the final large project from the Rec Sports Master Plan that Kahler Slater developed with the University in 2014.

Located near Lake Mendota, the new Center offers students a campus home for wellbeing and mental health services, a 25-yard recreational pool, 8 basketball courts, an ice sheet with spectator seating, expanded fitness areas, multipurpose studios, and an indoor jogging track. The design also incorporates an adapted fitness laboratory for the Kinesiology program. From a 4-level fitness center that is located specifically to capture views to the lake, to multiple rooftop terraces, the design is focused on connecting the users of the building with the unique landscape surrounding the facility. The gentle curves of both the interior and exterior are inspired by the flowing waters and topography in the area. Kahler Slater partnered with HOK to design and deliver this project.

Powerful Results

Outstanding Facilities Award
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Award, 2024
Design Award
Athletic Business Aquatic Design Portfolio Award, 2024