This new community center, located within 70 acres of cypress forest and wetlands, includes a gymnasium, computer lab, multi-purpose room, offices and a warming kitchen. All circulation is consolidated in the spacious and open lobby, defined by a monolithic folding plane. The lobby vista extends through the building to the forest beyond and exterior patio. The building unravels into the landscape, opening vistas, forming circulation, inviting entry, and organizing views. Cedar siding, split faced masonry and metal wall panels combine to create a warm composition that reflects the volumes of the program elements inside, while enhancing the surrounding context.
Exposed Cedar tongue and groove siding, displaying the grain and texture, relates to the surrounding forest. Recessed aluminum trim reglets are used to capture the wood, allowing the horizontal lines of the wood to continue around corners. This detail also defines the volume’s edges more precisely than traditional surface applied trim.
Vertical metal panels fold over the entry, reflecting and reaching up to the sky while contrasting the masonry and cedar elements allowed to touch the ground. Spatial and material continuity is maintained from the exterior to the interior space. All three major program elements fold to embrace the lobby space. Materials and surfaces are formed as specific reactions to program and context. Interior and exterior spaces are molded as one continuous construct, manifesting a connection with the surrounding context.
2005 AIA Tampa Bay – Merit Award for Architecture