Hoffmann Architects

John Hopkins Athletic Center overview

Johns Hopkins University
White Athletic Center

Baltimore, MD

Exterior Rehabilitation and Peer Review

Designed by Meyer and Ayers Architects and built between 1963 and 1965, the Newton H. White Athletic Center significantly expanded Johns Hopkins University’s athletic facilities.  As the Athletic Center approached its fortieth year, many of its components approached the end of their serviceable life.  The university began to have problems with leaks, both at the roof and at the pool, which is visible below grade through several underwater portholes.  In addition, the pool, a separate dive tank, and the surrounding deck are all surfaced with one-inch ceramic tile, which was beginning to show its age and delaminate from its substrate.

On behalf of Mullins Engineering Co., Inc., Hoffmann Architects began by investigating observed deterioration at the roofing system, concrete roof deck, and roof support girders of the Natatorium.  Exploratory openings and analysis confirmed that the built-up roof assembly was showing the buckling, cracking, blistering, and leaking that could be expected after forty years’ service.  Our architects recommended a complete roof replacement, and, because the concrete was found to be in relatively good condition, isolated repairs to hairline cracks and corroded steel.

Following this initial investigation, Hoffmann Architects returned for a complete building envelope evaluation, as well as a condition assessment of the pool and pump room.  We then prepared contract documents and provided construction administration services for the full scope of recommended work, which included:  roof replacement, facade masonry rehabilitation (complete repointing and sealant replacement), concrete repair, ceramic tile repair, and window restoration.  Throughout, we also reviewed contractor submittals and provided construction observation services to Mullins Engineering.

The comprehensive rehabilitation restored the appearance and functional integrity of the Natatorium, while protecting against future deterioration to allow many more years of use.