Parks and recreation organizations serve as leaders in community wellbeing. It follows that recreation facilities should lead the way, to be a positive aspect of the communities they serve. Whether it’s being a leader in conservation, design, or programs that benefit at-risk-youth, there are so many ways parks and recreation organizations can build innovative recreation facilities.
With the benefits of recreation being well documented, these facilities are incredibly important for community wellbeing. Here we highlight five innovative recreation facilities leading the way for others to follow.
Largo Community Center – Largo, Florida
One of the coolest designs we’ve seen from these innovative recreation facilities is the interior park-like environment created by Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Inc. By lining their lobby with trees combined with a continuation of exterior and interior finishes, they’ve created the effect of an indoor park. Meant to be uplifting, this community center focusing on the seniors in the area provides a wealth of recreation programs, with a great ambience.
As an excellent bonus, the project is LEED Platinum certified, meaning its sustainability levels are very admirable. It has also won the 2010-2011 APWA Project of the Year, 2011 Recreation Management Magazine’s Innovative Design Award, and the 2011 AIA Tampa Bay Environment Sustainability Award.
Maryvale Community Centre — Phoenix, Arizona
This Phoenix-based innovative recreation facility might be the most award-winning center on this list, winning the 2009 Honor Award, AIA/ALA National, 2007 National Honor Award, and a 2006 Merit Award, just to name a few. Maryvale has a great local green culture and architects Gould Evans and Wendell Burnette Architects wanted to highlight this, through its sustainable design. Additionally, the revival of the existing recreational park was meant to reinvigorate the area; the large usage of glass allows passersby to see what’s going on inside. A lot of thought and intent went into this design.
Fala Park – Wolsztyn, Poland
It’s incredible what a good architecture firm can do with budget and spatial restraints. To fit as many amenities into a confined space as possible, PL Architekci designed the roof of the building to have an outdoor tennis court, surrounded by a tall enclosure that prevents tennis balls from escaping the rooftop.
While that might sound like a recipe for an awkward looking building, the design team managed to create something stunning. The interior features four bowling alleys, two squash courts, rock wall, mini-golf course, kids play zone, cafe, fitness area, and a gymnasium that hosts spin classes. Its clever design that maximizes potential class and recreation offerings to its community makes this one of the most innovative recreation facilities we’ve seen.
Creekside Community Recreation Centre — Vancouver, BC
The Canada Green Building Council is one of the most recognized rating agencies for sustainable design and Vancouver’s Creekside Community Recreation Centre has an LEED Platinum rating; its highest rating. Built in 2010 as one of the supporting venues for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, its stunning waterfront and mountain scenery is comparable to very few. To really boost the community aspect, they endorsed a “stream of ideas,” allowing residents to give input in the programming and services offered, greatly improving its customer service experience. Their commitment to sustainability and iemphasis on community building is why this is one of the most innovative recreation facilities.
SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center – Chicago, Illinois
This is one of the best community center models we’ve seen. Serving the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois — who provide the highest quality of care for Illinois’ most vulnerable children and families and is the first self-funded SOS organization in the US — the Lavezzorio Community Centre provides the typical community center services, with a heavy focus on providing social services for at-risk-youth in their community. The design of the center has garnered quite a bit of attention from the architecture community, for its thoughtful, functional design that amplifies the positive impact the community center makes. Check out Studio Gang — the architecture firm that built this community center — to learn more about how the building benefits its guests.
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