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Your rowing boathouse dream

Your rowing boathouse dream

How does the boathouse of your dreams look? What features does it have to give your rowers the best possible conditions to excel?

In a series of posts about extraordinary boathouses, we give you a chance to dream. Take a moment to admire and be inspired by the WMS boathouse on the Chicago River run by the Chicago Rowing Foundation.

WMS boathouse on Chicago River

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WMS boathouse in Chicago

The roof is inspired by a timelapse rowing stroke

“The 22,620-square-foot complex consists of a two-story mechanically heated and cooled training centre, one-story boat storage facility, and a floating launch dock. The main building houses row tanks, ergometer machines, communal space, and an office for the Chicago Park District. Boat storage accommodates kayak and canoe vendors and includes office space, as well as clear span storage for rowing shells and support equipment.”

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The boathouse is part of a project to make the Chicago River more accessible to the publicWMS boathouse by the Chicago River

SSRS got in touch with the Director, Betsy Trevarthen and she said

“Our favourite feature of the boathouse is the indoor rowing tank. The tank provides us the ability to train novice rowers in a stable environment, as well as pinpoint specific technical aspects for varsity crews.

The boathouse has enabled us to expand our program. We are able to train athletes more efficiently using the indoor rowing tanks, and get more boats on the water every day because of increased rack space.”

Designed by Studio Gang Architects

Studio Gang’s architecture takes inspiration from rowing itself to form the design.

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Boathouse model of timelapse rowing stroke

Boathouse model of timelapse rowing stroke

The boathouse’s design translates the poetic motion and rhythm of rowing into an architectural roof form, providing visual interest while also offering spatial and environmental advantages that allow the boathouse to adapt to Chicago’s distinctive seasonal changes. With structural truss shapes alternating between an inverted “V” and an “M,” the roof achieves a rhythmic modulation.

When you’re ready to build your dream boathouse, come talk to us here at SSRS about the internal fit-out.

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