natatorium entrance
natatorium interior
site plan
noise diagram
regulating lines
IIT NATATORIUM

The task at hand was to design an aquatics center for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Designing for such a storied campus plan such as that of IIT, one must be very aware of the campus plan in its current layout as well as the history behind the design of the campus plan and existing structures.
Mies van der Rohe’s place at the head of the design for the campus plan of the Institute places this site at the higher echelon of architectural reputation.

In choosing a site on the campus, location of such a program was important in finding a site with enough openness to accommodate the large footprint that an aquatic center takes up. The rectilinear campus plan sets up a group of regulating lines that the form of the natatorium is derived from. Specifications of the program was four pools, one competition-sized swimming pool, one diving pool, and two recreation pools. Two locker-rooms, an administrative area, a cafe, a lifeguard station, and a classroom for swimming classes make up the rest of the program.
In the design of the plan, the linear progression was important for the wet vs. dry spatial division. The locker rooms serve as the filter between the spaces.

The delicateness in materials chosen for the project reflects that of the buildings on campus in the Miesian design. Steel provides the structure for the natatorium with an aluminum mullion system complementing the use of steel. Cruciform columns are used so as to provide a seamless appearance for the vertical mullions as well as allowing for insulation to be placed in the gaps of the columns.
natatorium entrance