UC Berkeley Legends Aquatic Center

Berkeley, CA | sports/recreation | community/education

The Legends Aquatic Center establishes a connection with the athletic precinct and serves as a catalyst for energizing both the aquatics program and the southwest edge of campus.

Floor Plan

This state-of-the-art, LEED Silver facility provides highly visible training space tailored to the needs of UC Berkeley’s intercollegiate aquatic athletes.

Prior to this new facility’s completion, UC Berkeley had only one pool, which student-athletes shared with local recreational swimmers. Cal divers were obligated to practice at rival Stanford’s diving tower, posing recruitment challenges.

Now, Cal’s intercollegiate teams have sole use their own facility. Three single-level buildings surround a stretch 50-meter pool, with a two-centerline dive tower and springboards, a warm-water spa, locker rooms, and a multipurpose room. By putting the primary building’s key features on an axis with Edwards Stadium, Berkeley’s historic track and field facility, the designers established a new, informal athletics precinct while energizing the aquatics program and the campus’ southwest edge. At night, the building’s beacon-like glow activates its formerly dark corner.

Set within the primary building’s simple cube is an entry portal whose blue-tinted glass offers the public a glimpse of the athletic prowess just beyond. Three finish materials (stacked bond concrete masonry, clear and translucent blue glass, and corrugated, perforated metal skin) are integrated throughout the space; these allude to Cal Aquatics’ motto, “Adapt and Prevail,” drawing on a broad interpretation of the three physical states of matter.

This project maximizes durability and exceeds university-mandated sustainability requirements. All occupied spaces are daylit using either windows or skylights. Water-efficient fixtures resulted in a water-use reduction of 41%. Additional design elements include FSC-certified wood products, 20% recycled content materials, 20% regional materials, low-emitting materials, high-albedo roofing and pool deck, and full cutoff exterior lighting.


AIA East Bay Design Award

Berkeley Design Advocates Award for Design Excellence

Project Stats
  • Client

    University of California, Berkeley

  • Size

    9,200 sf

  • LEED Certification



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