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Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletics & Wellness Center

Project Type



August 2014


406 E. 91st St, NYC


Convent of the Sacred Heart
"There is no doubt that this new facility will help build strong bodies and minds, that it will make possible service opportunities as never before, that it will build community through good sportsmanship, and that it will help us educate our students to use their freedom wisely."
Joseph J. Ciancaglini, Sacred Heart’s Head of School

This new athletics and wellness center designed by BKSK for a K-12 independent girls’ school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is helping young women pursue excellence of spirit, mind, and body. The 53,000 s.f. center supports a diverse range of activities. Key spaces include a competition-sized six-lane swimming pool, a NCAA regulation-sized volleyball and basketball court, a dance studio, a fitness room, and several multi-purpose practice rooms, with space for regulation-sized fencing pistes. A grand daylight-filled stairwell encourages physical activity beyond the bounds of sports. A host of sustainable design strategies enhance the center’s operations and contribute to the health and comfort of its users. Solar hot water heaters, a cooling tower with rooftop retention tanks, insulated building envelope panels, low-emissivity windows, and a pool dehumidification heat recovery system allow for comfortable air and water temperatures while minimizing the consumption of nonrenewable resources. Automated lighting controls, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency mechanical equipment further reduce the environmental impact of the center, a building type with traditionally high resource needs. Consequently, the project achieved LEED Gold certification.

Brick in Architecture Silver Award, 2015

Building Blueprints: Sustainable Athletic and Wellness Center,” School Planning and Management, May 2016
Architectural Showcase: Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletics and Wellness Center,” Athletic Business, June 2015
Finding Synergy: Collaborating & Combining Functions in Multipurpose Designs,” Recreation Management, May 2015
Steel joins school gym design,” Metal Architecture, February 2015
How School Buildings Can Become Hands-On Teaching Tools,” Building Operating Management, January 2015

Sciame Construction – construction management; Severud Associates – structural; Weidlinger Associates – civil; OLA Consulting Engineers – MEP; James Gainfort – exterior envelope; Horton Lees Brogden – lighting design; Poulin & Morris – graphics design; Counsilman-Hunsaker – pool consultant; Cerami & Associates – acoustics & a/v

Photos by Raimund Koch, Jeffrey Totaro, and David Katzenstein