Towson University Burdick Hall

Towson, MD

Multiple gymnasiums, expanded fitness center, group fitness instruction areas, multi-activity courts, outdoor courts
Indoor running track, climbing center, 25-yard swimming pool, spectator galleries, locker rooms, cafe, admin space
LEED Gold Certified
Associate Architect: GWWO Architects; Design Architect: HOK
Towson University
Programming, Community Involvement, Sustainable Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration

Home to Campus Recreation Services, Towson University’s Burdick Hall received a major expansion, distributed over three levels, that transformed the previously deficient building into a renewed state-of-the-art facility with a highly visible identity that encourages student interaction and fosters a sense of community in the heart of campus.

Prior to design of the expansion, GWWO worked with Towson University to develop the program for the facility to enhance the programs provided by Campus Recreation Services. The process included an extensive workshop meeting with University facilities personnel, Athletic Department leadership, and user groups to define the project’s needs and goals.

Subsequent design efforts involved a collaborative and interactive process that included multiple design workshops and meetings on campus with University Administration, Campus Facilities, Campus Recreation Services, various engineering consultants, and the Construction Manager. A Project Steering Committee was also estabished that included representatives and stakeholders from all the campus entities noted above.

Major goals of the project identified during vision planning meetings included establishing a highly visible identity and front door for Campus Recreation Services; enhancing the architectural character of Burdick Hall as a campus destination; encouraging student interaction and sense of community in the heart of campus; maximizing natural light and views from the inside and outside to the campus core; strengthening opportunities for campus connectivity and access to outdoor recreation; and integrating sustainable features to design for LEED.

To meet the goals, the orientation of the addition faces south with an east-west orientation in order to allow the design to take advantage of maximum exposure for day-lighting and views to the campus core and outdoor recreation fields beyond. The design also located a variety of recreation program spaces including the multi-activity courts and group fitness spaces along the south side to allow for students to view activities within the building from the pedestrian walk beyond. The architecture and high-quality materials are appropriate to the campus context, surrounding campus buildings, and landscape. Additionally, placement of exterior glazing, windows, and balconies were coordinated with the program and design to maximize views to the exterior along with natural daylighting opportunities.


National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) Outstanding Sports Facility Award

​​​​​​The 94,000-SF, LEED Silver expansion includes 22,000-SF of open fitness space for cardio, strength, and functional training, two multi-activity courts, three group fitness studios, a state-of-the-art cycling studio, skills studio for boxing and skill-based training, indoor running track, sprint hill and simulated stadium stairs, climbing center, and a 25-yard swimming pool. Additional program elements include new locker rooms, fitness plazas, outdoor courts, cafe with seating area, and spectator galleries, as well as areas for member services, administration, and facility operations.