Ithaca Aquatic Center

headshot of a man with dark hair and glasses
  • Ekin Bilal, B.Arch. 2020
  • Hometown Istanbul, Turkey
  • Class ARCH 2101 Design III (second-year studio)
  • Instructor Andrea Simitch

Sited along Six Mile Creek with a forest trail running on the south and State Street on the north, this project mediates between the two conditions of urban and natural context. Utilizing a factorial structural system of rigid frames and being informed by the urban regulating lines, the design slowly adapts to lines traced by the banks of the creek and cliffs of the gorge, also letting the creek's water come into the building. Covered by an envelope inspired by the destroyed shell of a ruined industrial structure with perforations and openings all along, the center also supplies lighting conditions that emulate those of a forest. The design incorporates several separate circulatory ramps for both pedestrians and bikers that oscillate into and out of the structure and tie the complex into the existing city grid.