The Southern Regional Technology & Recreation Complex sets a benchmark for a quality public facility offering a safe place to be physically active. DLR Group’s design promotes the client’s mission to improve health and wellness – including social interaction and healthy living for all ages. The signature element of the design is a sweeping arc of glass that characterizes the main façade. This multi-colored expanse reflects the surrounding neighborhood and is a testament to the community’s participation and pride in the facility. To highlight this focal element and respect the residential context, the massing strategy shifts the gymnasium to the rear of the site, while the concourse is street-facing. The concourse houses most of the building’s program and uncloaks the active functions, including exercise areas and classrooms, ordinarily hidden from view. The primary organizing element of the concourse is a gently curving steel stair that leads to the mezzanine viewing area. The perforated metal panel that clads this structure meanders through the concourse as a screen and defines, along with clear and opaque glass panels, areas for instruction and spaces for gathering within the larger open area. The design of the Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex was recognized as the Public Building of the Year by AIA Maryland in 2015.
The scope of this project was a new 40,000 SF recreation complex. A focus on flexibility and multiple options for the use of each space shaped the program for the complex, which includes a gymnasium, suspended indoor track, climbing wall, workout facilities, group exercise areas, large multipurpose room, professional recording studio, kitchen, and classrooms. The complex also features an expansive green roof with an open viewing gallery and lounge area. Materials were selected for considerations of budget, durability, ease of maintenance, and sustainability. DLR Group provided architecture and planning services.