Elk Grove Aquatics Center

Elk Grove, CA | sports/recreation | community/education

The Elk Grove Aquatics Center serves as the central feature of the city’s new Civic Center, a community hub for events and other outdoor activities.

Elk Grove Aquatics Center Plan

With a 50-meter pool, a six-lane lap pool, and a fun-water pool, the Elk Grove Aquatics Center is the first phase of a new master-planned park, commons, and civic center. Located just south of Sacramento, Elk Grove frequently experiences summer high temperatures of more than 100 degrees, which meant that providing shade for the facility’s users was crucial. ELS bisected the one-story 13,000-square-foot complex with a 400-foot-long white steel trellis shade structure. The trellis defines the entry, provides shelter from the sun for those waiting in the entrance queue outside the aquatics center, and offers shade along the lap pool on the at-grade deck and the 50-meter pool on the lower deck. Large stepped terraces on two sides of the 50-meter pool lead to the lower deck and double as seating for spectators during events. Umbrellas and a new bosque of trees provide additional shade within the facility.

To create the form of the aquatics center, we drew inspiration from the curving pathways of the park’s landscape design. A curved wall more than 400 feet long and made of concrete masonry units serves as the main face of the facility. Custom-designed horizontal LED lights fit into the wall’s running bond pattern; the blue lights are staggered and set close together near the entry while the space between the lights gradually increase the farther they get from the entry, suggesting droplets of water flying from a diver’s splash. The lights give the aquatics center a distinctive night-time presence.

White metal panels, white metal parapet caps, and white painted steel complement the warm color of the concrete masonry units and help define the edges and shapes of the aquatics center within the park’s landscape. The facility also includes recreation and aquatics team locker rooms, administrative offices, and a concessions area, as well as community rooms that can be rented for children’s parties and other events.


AIA East Bay Design Commendation, Design Excellence in Equitable Communities and Ecosystems

American Public Works Association Sacramento Chapter, Project of the Year

California Park and Recreation Society, Excellence in Facility Design

Sacramento Business Times, Real Estate Project of the Year (Recreation), 2019-2020

Project Stats
  • Client

    City of Elk Grove

  • Size

    108,900 sf


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