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Fort Orange Club

Athletic Center

In 2011, Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects completed the building addition to house expanded athletic facilities for the Fort Orange Club.  The building’s design was contextually inspired picking up on the scale, window shapes, and materials used in the original buildings as well as patterned brickwork (diapering) used elsewhere in the neighborhood.  Site work involved new parking lots and a new monumental masonry & wrought fence streetscape, designed to be contextual with and to unify the campus setting.  The building is set in a mixed scale dense urban context of residential and commercial buildings and is adjacent to the large-scale Art Deco period Alfred E. Smith Building in downtown Albany.


The Athletic Center Expansion included a rehabilitation of the existing athletic facilities and a new two-story addition with a mezzanine level. The program included a new multipurpose group fitness space that can be adapted to varying uses along with two state-of-the-art squash courts; meeting all of the current World Squash Court Federation specifications. The addition also included an elevator and handicap facilities making the entire athletic wing ADA compliant. The addition is tucked behind the original mansion located on a busy four lane street (Washington Avenue) and defines itself through its unique diagonal diapering pattern, a traditional Dutch patterning style, while still maintaining sensitivity to the rhythm of the original athletic wing.


The new Athletic Center Expansion also includes a new massage space and cool down room on the first floor, lounge and juice bar, a mezzanine loft for viewing of squash games, a lobby and reception desk at the entry, an expansive fitness center adapted from the original squash courts, additional storage spaces and renovated pool.


The project of the Athletic Facilities Expansion also included extensive site planning including the development of a new streetscape along Washington Avenue to screen the expanded parking area.  A traditional brick with limestone trim pier and wrought iron fence scheme was designed to tie together the traditional buildings from the Fort Orange Club Complex.

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