Marion YMCA

Marion, Iowa

Community connection, transparency and wellness were the primary drivers for this new 86,000-square-foot multi-generational recreation and fitness facility in a growing mid-western city.

Designed as a holistic community and wellness center, the new facility connects both figuratively and literally with its site. The parti is three simple parallel bars wrapped in precast concrete and metal panels, each terminating in views to the community and athletic fields. The bars are punctuated by a double-height, curtainwall-wrapped lobby that both intersects and unites the building’s primary program functions.

The central lobby welcomes visitors and doubles as a community gathering space. Upon entering, patrons visually connect to all primary spaces: the pool, childcare and community rooms, group fitness, gymnasium, and track. Dual kiosk stations replace the traditional large reception desk to remove the barrier between staff and user while also clearly defining the space and entry sequence.

A large social stair provides additional space for gathering, serving as a powerful statement about community and encouraging users to pause and interact with one another. It also provides a direct visual and circulation path to the second level fitness floor, running track and group fitness rooms.

Connection between the upper and lower levels is also created by overlooks along the track which allow for parents to observe activity in the gym below without disrupting runners and walkers. The fully accessible competition pool, hot tub, and family pool also has direct views to the exterior and is visible from the lobby and second level fitness floor.

The highly efficient circulation, window-to-wall ratio, and simple building massing maximizes space and programming in a naturally lit and community centered recreation wellness facility. A marker of success is the more than 2,000 new members in the opening month.

Similar Projects

Back to Portfolio