University of Texas
The 2017 renovation of the University of Texas (UT) locker rooms, as envisioned by Gensler, started with a cathartic dismantling of the existing facility. For Coach Tom Herman, the project was about creating the right environment for success. “From recruiting, to player comfort and motivation, to game day intensity, the lighting controls help set the right tone at the right time,” says Herman.
Every aspect of the renovation was designed to make UT facilities reflect the university’s commitment to continued excellence. Lighting plays a major role throughout the space. In a design unique to the Longhorn program, each locker glows orange. Cove lighting throughout the space is fully adjustable, and a lighted corridor along the main entryway creates a must-stop photo-op for virtually everyone who visits the space, including other UT athletes, visiting teams, media and families of players and recruits.
Beyond the lighting scenes themselves, another requirement was easy player access, as the facility is more than just a functional space. College athletes are limited to a defined number of practice hours, but school officials wanted this space to viewed as an on-campus home. The facility includes study tables, couches, gaming systems, and a quiet place to meet, study film or just relax. The Quantum system from Lutron met every control requirement, ensuring the atmosphere reflects the players’ mood and meets their needs. Engraved keypads take the guesswork out of selecting the right scene. Lights can also be adjusted in every area, including the showers, to ensure players can tune the lights to their preferences.
The Longhorn locker room is already making its mark on players and recruits. As Coach Herman likes to remind people, “You are a lot better coach when you have the right players on the field.”