BACKGROUND: With amateur sports making up Evansville, Indiana’s largest tourism market, town officials knew they had to do something about the deteriorating and outdated Lloyd Pool facility, built in 1975. Though it still hosted competitive swimming practices and meets for Evansville’s high school teams, the old facility could no longer host USA swimming meets for club teams due to its limited specifications and crumbling infrastructure.

CLIENT: Deaconess Aquatic Center, Evansville, IN
CHALLENGE: Design a new state-of-the-art, high-performance aquatic center in Evansville, Indiana that echoes the industrial history of the area
RESULTS: UniQuad wall systems were used to bring soft, diffused daylight into the pool area, while large exterior graphics help define the facility and bring people into the space (won Aquatics International 2022 Dream Design Award)
PRODUCT: UniQuad® wall system
CONTRACTOR: Garmong Construction
ARCHITECT: Hafer Design

Deaconess Aquatic Center by Kingspan Light + Air - Sheet1
©Kingspan Light + Air

The City of Evansville recognized the need for a state-of-the-art aquatics center and committed to constructing a new high-performance facility that would provide swimming amenities for the entire community and be able to accommodate collegiate and NCAA programming.

The new 75,000-square-foot Deaconess Aquatic Center features a 950,000-gallon competition pool named after Olympic gold medalist and Evansville native Lilly King, along with a separate 91,000-gallon leisure pool and 1,750-square-foot outdoor splash pad. The cutting-edge aquatic center serves as a community hub for swimmers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels to enjoy.

CHALLENGE: Nestled in Evansville’s acclaimed Garvin Park and across from the historic Bosse Field, one of the most significant challenges encountered when designing the new two-story aquatic center was figuring out a way to incorporate a visual connection that echoed the industrial history of the area while still creating an impactful design that could draw its own attention and inject energy and engagement in each visit.

SOLUTION: To bring the architectural vision to reality, 13,000 square-feet of custom designed UniQuad translucent wall system was used to meet multiple aesthetic and performance requirements.

The UniQuad Wall System allows soft, uniform natural light to filter into the aquatic center without causing any glare on the pool or uncomfortable hot spots within the building. This allows the athletes to perform better and without distraction, and provides a comfortable environment for the spectators

Additionally, the UniQuad Wall System also provides a level of safety and privacy in that it blocks a direct line of sight into the pool area.

Aesthetically, the UniQuad Wall System provides a clean and modern exterior during the day, and then transforms into a glowing form during evening hours, making it a unique design tool.

To pay tribute to the industrial history of the neighborhood, the system features a clear anodize finish on the aluminum framing, and the intentional juxtaposition of the contrasting architectural styles between the new building and the Bosse Field baseball facility nearby forms an anchor at the entrance to this historic park.

©Kingspan Light + Air

The intentional juxtaposition of the contrasting architectural styles between the two buildings forms an anchor at the entrance to this historic park.


“The translucent panels that flank the south and east walls of the competition pool area allow natural light to penetrate the competition pool space while minimizing harsh shadows that would distract swimmers and lifeguards,” said Jennifer Kissel, Senior Associate/Architect, Hafer Design. “At night, the dot patterns that adorn the translucent panels appear on the exterior façade of the translucent panels creating glowing images of swimmers on the building’s exterior.”

The winner of the Aquatics International 2022 Dream Design Award, the $30 million state-of-the-art Deaconess Aquatic Center signals a new era for swimming in Evansville. The daylight-filled, impact-resistant and high-performance facility will serve as a community hub for competitive and recreational swimmers while attracting sports tourism to the city.


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