J.W. Cate Recreation Center

St. Petersburg, FL

Located between four high traffic lanes in St. Petersburg, FL and 33 acres of park, J.W. Cate Recreation Center seeks to reconcile the relationships between the street and nature, community and park, and kinetic and static relationships. The building acts as a seam by combining and displaying these dichotomies as one. The volume of the building is dissected with slices of transparency, allowing this to occur.

The park is revealed through the building and displayed to the streetscape. In the same way, activities are framed within this view, exposing the programs of recreation to the exterior: gymnasium, art room, teen room, multi-purpose room, and game room. When one is passing through the building, these intersections of transparency are seen as a pause for discovery. The space expands in all four directions, exposing the overall context of nature and activity. We are no longer displaying the building as an iconic symbol for the activities inside. The intention is to allow the activities and environmental conditions to speak for themselves within a simple framework which is the recreation center.