Project Description

Arizona State University

Sun Devil Fitness Complex West

One of four wellness centers simultaneously constructed or expanded on the four Arizona State University campuses, the Sun Devil Fitness Complex at ASU West (all four complexes share the name) provides ASU West with a dramatic presence while remaining sensitive to its surrounding context.

In keeping with the university’s master plan, the project planning extended the existing campus planning grid.

This was established when the campus was founded in 1984. ASU West’s SDFC was sited and designed to create a new quad and green space as formed by the fitness complex on the south, newly-constructed housing to the west, and dining on the north. It joined the academic anchor to the east. This new “student space” is the social anchor of an ambitious plan on this campus—but also across ASU’s traditionally-commuter campuses—to transition to a more residential-oriented system.

The SDFC’s design was guided by one of the university’s prime directives during this ambitious multi-campus project: “Incorporate student ideas and technologies in the design process and provide opportunities for student participation throughout the life of the building.”

To that end, the building’s designers participated in weekly meetings with students (who funded the project through a recreation fee surcharge), “visioning” workshops, listening sessions, public meetings, and hands-on design events where students manipulated scale blocks representing different aspects of the program. All of this ensured the design was unique to the ASU West Campus.


  • School Enrollment: 11,000
  • Average Daily Participation: 280
  • Most Recent Renovation: 2013
  • Total Construction Cost: $20.82 million
  • Gross Square Feet: 62,000 sq.ft.
  • LEED Designation: Gold

Other ASU facilities


  • Fully-functional demonstration kitchen
  • Solar-heated domestic hot water
  • At the time of installation, ASU collectively had the largest single Precore installation of anywhere in the country
  • Because we are located in the Sonoran Desert we needed a pool cooler to keep the water temperatures below 90 degrees in the summer months
  • Building design includes a social gaming space that is complete with video game systems and table tennis
  • Use 35% less water in the building and 50% less on the site than the typical rec center; we save over one million gallons of water a year
  • Use 54% less electricity than the typical rec center which saves 580,000 kWh annually; this is enough to power 50 typical houses
  • Over 700 tons of construction waste was recycled instead of sent to a landfill
  • 20% of the materials used to build the project were recycled products
  • The solar hot water system produces 4260 therms a year; this is enough therms to boil three million kettles of tea
  • The solar hot water system produces 4260 therms a year—enough to boil three million kettles of tea
  • Building access, AV, and lighting controls are managed through computer programs
  • On a clear day, from the third floor of our building, you can see north to the mountain range that encloses the north side of the valley, and to the south you can see all the way to University of Phoenix Stadium where the Arizona Cardinals play
  • The building is an abstracted iPhone; the exercise components are the “apps” easily accessed through the “user-friendly interface,” a transparent façade that reveals different activities like racquetball, group fitness, strength training, and a cardio loft
  • Would not put a water fountain over hardwood flooring.
  • Would install a lift to be able to service the pool pump and motor.
  • Would choose to not value engineered scoreboards.
  • Would have chosen a poured flooring color for our MPR that does not show as much scraping and scuffs.
  • Would rethink the size and function of the front desk.
  • Would have done the cabinetry in the building with a different finish that was better able to stand up to wear and tear.
  • Precore
  • Matrix
  • Cybex
  • IM Leagues InnoSoft
  • Fusion Subitup
  • Musco Sports Lighting
  • Covermaster, Inc
  • Mondo

Architect Information

  • Design Architect: Architekton and Architecture 360 (now HOK)
  • General Contractor: Haydon Construction
  • Aquatic Design Consultant: Shasta Pools and Counsilman Hunsaker

Address & Information

  • Address: 13351 N. 47th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85306
  • Phone: 602-543-3488
  • Website:
  • Facebook: n/a
  • Twitter: n/a

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