Metal Architecture Home

Sports & Recreation

IMG Performance and Sport Science Center, Bradenton, Fla.

IMG Performance and Sport Science Center is the capstone building of IMG Academy’s athletic training facilities. Founded in 1978 by Nick Bolliettieri, a tennis coach, IMG Academy is a multisport training and educational facility for amateur and professional athletes.

IMG Academy offers academic studies, athletic training, performance evaluation and development. The academy serves students and athletes from more than 70 countries. Located on a 500-acre site, the campus has more than 20 multisport fields, more than 50 tennis courts, a 5,000-seat stadium, 18-hole golf course, basketball gymnasiums, 10,000-square-foot weight room and the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

Designed by Fawley Bryant Architecture, the 65,000-square-foot performance center highlights the expanding campus in the master plan created by the firm. The center’s north façade, which overlooks and anchors the campus’ main plaza, integrates a prominent glass façade with Petersen Aluminum Corp.’s Precision Series Highline S1 Panels. Approximately 8,500 square feet of the Highline S1 aluminum PAC-CLAD panels finished in Cityscape were installed on the building.

“The campus is truly world class,” says Stu Henderson, director of design at Fawley Bryant Architecture. “The Academy is recognized for its innovative, groundbreaking work, and we try to reflect and celebrate that in the design of their buildings.”

The use of metal was a conscious choice by the design team in the early stages of planning for the building. “We wanted the building to have muscularity and strength, and also be sleek and graceful,” Henderson says. “We pictured those attributes as the things that create a balanced athlete. The PAC-CLAD panels really helped accomplish that. And the linear nature of the panels communicates the feeling that the building is in motion or has motion. The use of the metal panels was a very important component in the design of the building.”

Sutter Roofing installed the PAC-CLAD Highline S1 Panels. Several aspects of the design were challenging from an installation standpoint. “The sharp corner on the east end of the building required a lot of effort,” says Kirk Bauer, project manager at Fawley Bryant Architecture. “After the design team incorporated the knife-edge look in the plans, we consulted with Sutter Roofing and the general contractor, Tandem Construction, about how to make it happen. We actually reverse engineered the system by solving the knife-edge first and then created the rest of the framing for the façade from that point.”

In addition to the Highline S1 Panels and glazing, the material palette includes a substantial amount of painted concrete block. “Clients trust us to strategically allocate their budgets to the areas most crucial to design objectives,” Henderson says. “We felt it was important to spend money on the large north-facing glass, showing the activity inside. The metal façade was also critical to the design, and being strategic with resources allowed this feature to become a reality.”