Design Initiative was selected as a member of a team including Tom Leader Studio, of Berkeley, California, and Macknally Land Design to design a new community center and park as the central piece to the redevelopment of a neighborhood ravaged by tornadoes in 2011. Located on an 8-acre parcel of land that also included the neighborhood library, the completed work forms the heart of the community, for both existing housing as well as planned new housing.
Gateway Building and Plaza – Design Initiative was responsible for the design of the Gateway building, or community center, and the adjacent plaza. This building serves a variety of functions, and is intended to provide space for community meetings, classroom functions, and family gatherings. The building has operable partitions that allow spaces to accommodate smaller groups as well as larger gatherings, as well as creating large indoor/outdoor spaces.
Observation Tower and Trellis – While the Gateway Building anchors one corner of the super block, the Observation Tower provides a landmark feature at the opposite corner. The steel structure with perforated metal skin is illuminated to create a beacon and an icon which can be seen throughout the neighborhood.
Both the Gateway Building and the Observation Tower were coordinated with the Landscape Architecture Team to create a seamless integration of program and structure. The buildings intentionally open out to the site, creating useful space for the events the community center will support.