Escalante Multi-Generational Center
Location: Tempe Arizona
Size: 37,000 sf
The 31,000 sf facility is located in the heart of its Tempe neighborhood, and serves a wide range of users, encompassing diverse cultures, ages, and income levels. The challenge was to integrate 28,000 sf of new program space with an existing pool and bathhouse, and an existing 3,000 sf community facility. The solution was to wrap the new facility around and behind the existing pool, with the three primary programmatic elements being located at the extremities of the plan. These functions were then linked by common use spaces such as classrooms and an employee lounge. The resultant form created a courtyard for the pool area that overlooks the park to the west. The main entry to the community recreational functions - the gymnasium, the pool, and shared space for the Community Action Agency - is located on the south side of the facility. A community plaza/amphitheater greets guests in the space outside the main lobby. The lobby is designed as a linear volume, with well-controlled daylight provided by ample glazing, as well as a dramatic linear skylight that celebrates the gymnasium's form and defines the volume of the lobby. The project's overall scale coincides with both the park and its surrounding neighborhood. The largest function, the multi-purpose gymnasium, was located toward the center of the park adjacent to an existing 60' eucalyptus tree. The pre-engineered mass of the gymnasium was sculpted through the use of battered, curved walls which mask the building's form and reduce its visual impact on the neighborhood.