Columbia Rowing Boathouse

  • The Columbia Rowing Team Boathouse functions as both an academic facility and a community amenity. The building serves as a storage shed for the team’s boats on the lower floor while athletic programs and administrative offices occupy the upper levels. The facade of the building was inspired by row boats in motion in a river, sliding past one another during a race. The resulting pattern of windows and solar panels is wrapped around a series of nested shells that contain the interior programs and provide shelter for the boats below. The facade’s fenestration faces away from direct sunlight and roof-mounted solar panels help to reduce energy demands.
  • The building appears to hover over the ground as each shell wraps back under the second floor toward the rear of the site. 
  • A solar heat-gain analysis of the building volume. The reflective white facade is stretched across the surfaces that receive the most sunlight, while the large glazing areas occur on the sides of each shell reducing unnecessary cooling loads. 
  • An exploded diagram showing the massing of the boathouse programs and the grid applied to the site that generated the first floor bearing walls and steel structure above.
  • A perspective view from the river bank. The sliding gates that enclose the boat bay are open, allowing easy access to remove and return the rowing shells.
  • Section Axon
  • The aluminum mullions that support the facade are coated in bioluminescent paint to provide a soft, energy-free glow to the landscape at night.
  • An interior view of the second floor weight room.
  • A view of the boat storage area with the gates closed, looking towards the waterfront. 
  • The underside of the facade can be seen in the central shell where a balcony space is created. In the rear, team members practice in the rowing tank.
  • Unrolled Elevation
  • A section through the middle shell.
  • A cross section through the building looking toward the water.
  • The building plan was heavily influenced by the arcing spine of the site, resulting in a radially organized structural and spatial grid.
  • The first floor boat storage bay, along with the entry and locker rooms. 
  • The second floor plan, containing free spaces for exercise as well as administrative offices and mechanical rooms.
  • The third floor covered balcony with a view into the rowing pool below.
  • A detail section through the end of a typical shell showing the layers of structure behind the facade.
  • A diagram of the steel structure forming a secondary structural grid above the radial grid applied to the site.
  • A view from the hill behind the building showing the carport and entryway.