Whitman College
Baker Ferguson Fitness
and Aquatic Center

Walla Walla, WA

Whitman College

38,000 sf facility


  • Whitman BFFC Exterior
  • Whitman BFFC Poolside
  • Whitman BFFC Pool Platforms
  • Whitman BFFC Pool Lanes
  • Whitman BFFC Pool
  • Whitman BFFC Gym
  • Whitman BFFC Exterior Corner Detail
  • Whitman BFFC Exterior
  • Whitman BFFC Entry

Whitman College is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the United States. In order to continue to attract the most qualified students in an increasingly competitive environment, Whitman was compelled to develop a state-of-the art student fitness center.

The Baker Ferguson Center combines two essential components: a new fitness center and an eight-lane collegiate competition swimming pool. Locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, and spectator seating for the swimming pool are located in a two-story bar that separates the tall volumes of the fitness center and the swimming pool.

In the pool area, glazing is limited at the street level to provide privacy for the swimmers. Above, continuous windows provide abundant daylight. In the fitness area, the relationship is reversed: the continuous lower window wall provides expansive views of the campus and expresses the activity of the fitness center on its exterior.

The Baker Ferguson Fitness and Aquatic Center keeps Whitman College competitive in terms of its position in the athletic conference as well as with liberal arts colleges across the country.

Photography: © Michael Burns