ACTIVE COMMUNITY CENTER
Overview Background Context Site Program Architectural Design Tectonics Precedents Process Models
Overview This project explores the gentrification issue surrounding Baltimoreâ€™s inner harbor by creating a space that appeals to a wide range of users in a highly visible waterfront site. The program includes sport facilities and community spaces that serve the local population.
The goal of this project to is to create an environment that is appealing to the residents of the city, particularly the youth, and to provide accessibility to residents who may not use the Inner Harbor due to the expense or appeal of the existing activities.
This project is a sport community center for the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.
Background Baltimore has historically struggled with a positive city image. The city has focused its attention on the Inner Harbor area to help address some of the urban issues. During the 80s and early 90s, the city opened several attractions in this area including retail, education centers, and sports arenas. The result was the creation of a tourist hot spot in the center of downtown.
Many of the activities taking place in this area are perceived as novelties by the locals and are financially out of reach for many. An unintended consequence of this revitalization is the alienation of the nearby residents of the city.
Many use the inner harbor promenade as a walking and jogging path as it provides excellent views and is a pedestrian main street for harbor activity. Extending the promenade further along the waterfront would encourage other social activities and benefit the health of the city.
As the obesity epidemic is rising, and school drop-out rates remain high, a new youth center that focuses on physical activity could provide the means for the community to address these issues. Additional social benefits would include building self-esteem, providing educational resources, and facilitating positive use of free time.
Context Many of the properties near the harbor have been gentrified and appeal to a younger, white collar demographic. The properties located a short distance inland become more diverse with various income levels and cultures. Intertwined in these healthy neighborhoods are empty and blighted neighborhoods, evidence of large social issues facing the city. Architecturally, the row house dominates the landscape and unifies all social levels into one housing typology.
Perkin Homes - Public Housing
Gentrified Housing in Fells Point
Site Harbor Point is a brownfield peninsula site located adjacent to the Inner Harbor. It is located in the Fells Point neighborhood (technically the point in Fells Point) and is a short distance across the water from Locust Point. This site provides the opportunity to connect to the surrounding neighborhoods inland and across the water using the existing infrastructure of water taxis and kayak commuting.
The previous owner of the site, Allied Chemical, used the site for chromium ore processing. The site has since been capped with clay to prevent further contamination.
Site Design The entire Harbor Point peninsula is currently under development. The surrounding buildings will include a mix of uses including retail, commercial, hospitality and residential. Community amenities will include the Living Classroom, an educational maritime resource, and the National Lacrosse Center, a museum. The community activity center is adjacent to the Lacrosse Center and shares access to the Lacrosse field located on the Southern tip of the peninsula.
The design for Harbor Point places high density buildings to the North and lower density structures along the water. Through the middle is a curved axis that contains a formal park strip and connects to a main street in Fells Point. Aligned with the other end of this axis is the activity center with the entry and main circulation path leading out to the public plaza. The promenade from the inner harbor extends through the Harbor East neighborhood and wraps down and around Harbor Point. A new bridge allows circulation to access Harbor Point directly from Harbor East. Tying into the existing infrastructure allows the energy and activity of the Inner Harbor to extend deeper into the city.
On either side of the activity community center are open green spaces for public parks. To the South is the playing field that has tiered spectator seating and manicured lawn. To the North, a flexible green space allows for many community activities such as summertime movies in the park or small concerts. Several trees are placed to help control high winds and yet still maintain visibility to the water.
The promenade is placed against the seawall for most of the harbor. In Harbor Point there is a thin strip of vegetation that separates the promenade from the water. This acts as a filtration area to help water quality of runoff before it returns to the harbor. The plantings for this strip are native to Maryland and create a more natural setting against the urban skyline.
Program The program is largely composed of sport and fitness areas as well as community amenities such as an event space, classroom, and multipurpose space.
PROJECT GOALS Value
Open publicly, comfortable, approachable, engaging activities
Should include layers of transparency that invite spontaneous community participation
Representational of different neighborhoods, center for everyone
Expresses a connection to the surrounding neighborhoods in addition to itâ€™s tie to the inner harbor - should be independent from the inner harbor festivities
providing spaces for active and spectator functions, relation to water and to the city
The center should integrate passive introspective space and active extrospective space.
Connected to Harbor, educational on-site remediation
The center should celebrate the relationship of the water.
Close to self-sustaining, energy generating
The center should be an affordable amentity that hold special events that can contribute back to the community
Flexibility in activities, structure can be added to for future growth
Spaces should be flexible to accommodate different activiites
uses structure to define spaces, handles site contamination
The expression of structure should rationally define spaces.
materials to express the harbor
The materials should reflect the connection to the waterfront and historical neighborhood.
addresses security, check in
Staff Break Rooms
Open work stations to accommodate summer influx Separate for aquatic and rest of staff
Architectural Open, Welcoming, lots of natural light and warm natural light and ventilation, bright, cheery views to outside, private
Centrally located, visibility to Warm, variety of light (dim and activities, ability to have different bright), center of activity yet offers hours than rest of the center quiet perches
Education Classroom 2000
Harbor awareness, run by outside organization
Views/connection to water, natural light clean, tall ceilings, plain - ability to change mood with decorations
Flexibility, different hours
Commercially rated, proximity to Open, clean, natural light multipurpose
Rental space for pool, ability to do staffing meetings
Teen appropriate, air hockey, etc.
Proximity to Fitness area
Meditative space, quiet
open views to pool area, elevated, inviting lower lighting, cave-like feel, interiorly focused Open, clean, natural light, cheery, kid focused surrounded by nature, warm, sunny
Showers, getting ready space, changing, family area
variety of ceiling heights, soft finishes Tall ceilings, Blue colors, natural Lap, Family, Jacuzzi light access to harbor open, clean, flexible Located at gym and pool - ability variety of sizes and locations, to hold meets - extra income warm, comfortable Families doing different activities Visibility to surrounding activities, looped system - no public open, lots of natural light
Mechanical Laundry Receiving Toilets
3104 400 400 970
Located at gym and pool - ability variety of sizes and locations, to hold meets - extra income warm, comfortable Families doing different activities looped system - no public activities are isolated Scattered - events storage, equipment efficient Towel service loading access serves community services
Visibility to surrounding activities, open, lots of natural light variety of sizes and materials clean clean, good lighting tall openings off hours access, clean
Architectural Design The form of the building emerges from the water and grows upwards as it moves closer to the community, symbolically taking energy from the water and bringing it into the city. On the North side is a bar of circulation that is visually open to the park and activities outside.
Located perpendicular to this bar is an area for community functions, a series of spaces that is capped by the basketball courts above. The pool is located off this circulation bar, is open to the roof structure above and has views out to the plaza. This main circulation bar connects the entry to the exterior plaza and pool.
LEVEL 1 1 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
ENTRY CLASSROOM GAMEROOM EVENT SPACE CLIMBING WALL DAYCARE KITCHEN STAFF LOCKERS
LEVEL 2 5
15 16 4 15 15
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
MECHANICAL CAFE OLYMPIC LAP POOL TEAM AREA OUTDOOR SEATING SPECTATOR SEATING BASKETBALL COURT
The prominent roof form is exposed throughout the interior. It forms two main nodes that correspond to the activities (pool and basketball) that occur internally. The highest point of the roof is near the entry and features large rock walls that extend nearly as tall as the ceiling.
From the rock walls that challenge climbers, and the track that winds through and around the perimeter structure, this building invites the community to engage in sport activities.
PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK STUDENT PRODUCT
The building engages the promenade by bringing the path onto the structure to allow a visual connection to the activities inside as well as to gain a better vantage point of the sportâ€™s field. This acts as an outreach to the public who would not normally participate in activities in the community center.
INSULATED METAL PANEL TRANSLUSCENT FABRIC PANEL CLEAR GLAZING PANEL
OPERABLE METAL PANEL
CLEAR GLAZING PANEL
PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK STUDENT PRODUCT
This pathway serves as a fitness tool and also incorporates an opportunity for learning. The roof downspouts feed into planters that create a railing on the side of the track. At certain places along the track, information diagrams and boards provide details of how the building is reacting to the environment. The goal is to educate the visiting public on sustainability and obesity.
Enclosure The structural frame is comprised of steel. The space frame truss system forms two layers of wall surfaces. The inner layer is a translucent fabric and clear glazing panels. They provide acoustical absorption of the interior spaces and create a uniform glow during the daylight hours. The exterior panel system is a collection of colorful metal panels that operate to manage natural ventilation for the systems heating and cooling. The air between the two facades acts as a thermal buffer.
AN AUTODESK STUDENT PRODUCT
operable metal panels
translucent fabric panels
During hot days, chilled water is run through the floors and natural ventilation is circulated through the faรงade system. During cold days, hot water is run through the floor slab and the outer flaps remain closed. The inner flaps remain open for the return air that is run through a heat recovery system. Ventilation is circulated through a raised floor and is vented into the rooms from below. This prioritizes spaces being occupied and saves energy from conditioning the large expanse of space above.
Analysis Using ecotect, the sun exposure on the roof was calculated. This information was used to generate the glazing locations on the facade.
The colorful faรงade support the identity of this project for the community. It represents the diverse activity and neighborhoods that it serves.
Precedents From Left to Right: Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, Spain; Soccer City in Nasrec, South Africa; Philological library in Berlin, Germany; The Mantes la Jolie Water Sports Centre in Paris, France.