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Riverdale Country School Aquatic Center

PBDW Architects

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pbdwweaetxdyvaydzcwq, PBDW Architects

Project Name

Riverdale Country School Aquatic Center


13,100 sq. feet


Riverdale Country School


  • PBDW Architects


  • Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
  • : Buro Happold Consulting Engineers PC
  • Civil Engineer: AKRF Engineering PC
  • Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen Architects, PC
  • Other: Cerami & Associates
  • Other: Counsilman-Hunsaker
  • Lighting Designer: One Lux Studio
  • Building Enclosure/Artwork: Forst Consulting and Architecture, PLLC
  • Other: Stuart-Lynn Company

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

PBDW is providing architectural services for the design of a new Aquatic Center for Riverdale Country School, which will house a six-lane pool for recreation, fitness, and competition. This project will allow the School to maintain its athletic excellence by expanding and improving the facilities to suit a more extensive curriculum and by providing more flexible spaces.

The Aquatic Center is located on a steeply sloped site, and also lies within a special zoning district that limits disruption to the natural landscape. Because of these constraints, we created a compact footprint, taking advantage of the slope to separate wet and dry program components while minimizing excavation into the bedrock. In addition to the pool, the building will house student and staff locker rooms, spectator seating, coach’s offices and storage areas.

The main view from the campus is of the lower locker room and lobby volume with the larger pool volume behind. Both will be clad in a highly efficient glass fiber reinforced concrete rainscreen system. A single story lobby lit by clerestory windows above, opens out onto the seating area, which steps down to the lower level of the pool. Natural lighting in the pool area is flexible; it can simultaneously be minimized to prevent distractions to the swimmers, yet also take advantage of optimal daylight. A second window on the south elevation provides views out to an existing rock outcropping that will remain undisturbed throughout the construction process. Materials were carefully selected with durability in mind due to the corrosive nature of the pool environment.

Sustainable features include a highly efficient building envelope, reduced energy loads by using heat captured from the pool dehumidification systems to heat the pool, water use reduction, and storm water quantity control, as well as the use of recycled and regional materials, and increased indoor air quality.
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