One of this years AIA Orlando Chapter Design Award winners was this great low budget community center in Kissimmee Florida. It received an Award of Merit.
Marydia is a small, primarily low-income, predominately black residential community in unincorporated Osceola County bordered by industrial facilities.
When the county decided to erect a community center in Marydia on the site of a former fire and rescue station, the plan called for demolition of the prefabricated structure only to replace it with another generic metal building. The design team proposed a different strategy: By recycling the existing structure slated for demolition and deploying a new addition as a formal layer fronting the existing building, the resulting combination would make a community center that was bigger and better quality for essentially the same cost.
The new addition houses a lobby, an administrative office, maintenance rooms, a computer lab, and a state-of-the-art kitchen. Residents will be able to use the computer lab to interface with government services, to search for employment, or to pursue education or training. Plans call for the center to eventually offer general education diploma (GED) testing on-site. The new kitchen will support the local Meals on Wheels program, which provides lunches for the elderly.
The multi-purpose room in the renovated original building, which can accommodate 320 people, will support children’s programs and can be used for special community events and public meetings.
To express the playful form of the community center, the design team secured the cooperation of a neighboring architectural precast concrete manufacturer who donated concrete test panels from its stockpiles and also offered a discount on new panels needed to complete the project.
The simple landscape treatment of softscape and hardscape echoes the geometries of the precast façade. Outside enhancements include a front porch, rear courtyard, seating, and site sculptures that make the facility functional, flexible, and inviting.
Creative thinking, in lieu of simply delivering the client’s request, has given Marydia an exciting community center which is inspiring, an which they can use with pride.
You can view all the 2014 AIA Orlando Design Awards at this link:
You can view Heery International’s website here: