The San Jose Downtown Association on Friday presented Gensler architect Jacqueline Zuhoski and San Jose State Chief Financial Officer Charlie Faas with its prestigious Golden Nail Award for their work on the university’s new recreation and aquatics center.
The distinction, which the SJDA bestows each year to a project that exhibits good architecture and urban design, was presented at the organization’s annual year-in-review event at the Hammer Theatre.
“San Jose State is a hugely important part of the downtown community and I think at times not always thought of that way, that it’s sort of thought of as separate,” SJDA Business Development Manager Nate LeBlanc told San Jose Inside at the Friday ceremony. “Jacqueline and her team did a fantastic job utilizing the natural environment of San Jose and kind of celebrating it in the design.”
The building has been a key in making the university’s campus more “sticky and less transitional,” LeBlanc explained.
“Students are spending more time on campus and, therefore, here in our downtown thanks to this beautiful and useful new amenity,” he said.
The new campus center, which opened up earlier this year, boasts 20,000 square feet of gym space for cardio and strength training equipment, three full-court gyms, four fitness studios, an indoor track and two swimming pools.
In his acceptance speech, Faas thanked the downtown association for the honor and emphasized the role that the new recreation center has played in San Jose State’s evolution beyond just a commuter campus.
“We like to think that San Jose State enables and helps San Jose really [be] a great, outstanding city,” Faas said. “The opening of the [recreation center] enables our students to spend more time on campus.”