Columbia’s new Parks & Recreation Administration Building delivers on two fronts. First, it clearly establishes a forward-looking identity for the Department. Second, it successfully addresses the ever-growing need for community meeting space that is welcoming and engaging.
Nestled among mature trees on a bluff overlooking Earlewood Park, the center is comprised of two parts – one public and one private. A breezeway connects the two structures to create a small campus of approximately 10,000 square feet. Another overt link is the public plaza that serves both buildings and also connects to existing parking to the north, disc golf to the west, and the tennis courts to the south.
Each building is conceived as a simple, carefully detailed form. Together, the structures establish an iconic identity, yet are restrained, reserved and deferential to the park landscape. A plinth veneered in stone establishes the ground plane, with steel pipe columns and a glu-lam wood roof emerging out of this base. Walls are constructed of aluminum curtain wall, in-filled with glass, spandrel and stained wood. This effectively creates a light, transparent façade that opens the buildings to the outside.
The design also features many sustainable principles, including the use of recycled materials, energy efficient mechanical systems, generous day-lighting, ample views, and minimal impact on the site.
Location: Columbia, SC, US
My Role: Architect