Facilities of Merit 2007: Firstenburg Community Center

Firstenburg Community Center

Vancouver, WA 2007
Year in Showcase: 2007

Project Description

Located on a 10-acre parcel featuring a remnant, second-growth forest of 80-year-old Douglas firs, the Firstenburg Community Center represents “a tour de force of sustainability,” as one panelist put it. The center’s one-story community wing features places for group activities and socializing organized along a main circulation spine. Upstairs, a glass-encased exercise pavilion forms an entrance loggia that, at night, functions as an illuminated billboard of activity. Behind, the high-bay recreation volume houses the gymnasium and natatorium, and features an undulating roofline that optimizes natural ventilation and echoes the contour of the surrounding forest. The recreation wing’s corrugated zincaluminum exterior further complements the dark backdrop of trees.

In pursuit of LEED® Gold certification, designers employed numerous greenbuilding strategies, including the specification of recycled and renewable materials such as bamboo and wheatboard. While the site’s significant tree stands were preserved, diseased or weak trees were milled and re-integrated into the project. Thus, exposed wood finishes not only bear a distinctly regional character, they also create a direct connection to the site.

Judge's Comments

The exterior expression masterfully plays simple solid and transparent surfaces against each other, not only articulating the interior function but also providing a restrained energy to the building.
— Tom Betti

Excellent use of green materials and a solid, sustainable approach to recreation facilities.
— Dave Hammel

The daylighting and layering of space is quite beautiful, and the level of integration of sustainable features demonstrates that sustainable design can be successfully applied to public recreation projects.
— Tom Scarlata

Project Details

Architect: Opsis Architecture; Portland, Ore.
AQUATIC DESIGN ENGINEER : Water Technology Inc. - Beaver Dam, Wis.
PROGRAMMING/OPERATIONAL CONSULTANT : The Sports Management Group - Berkeley, Calif.
Funded by: Bonds, private donations, state grants
Major facility components: Gymnasium, fitness center, climbing wall, natatorium, classrooms, meeting rooms, lounge
Construction Cost: $17 million
Square Feet: 80,000
Occupancy: February 2006

Basketball Backboards/Supports: Jaypro Sports LLC

Chemical Control Systems: Siemens Water Technologies

Climbing Walls: Entre Prises USA Climbing Walls

Divider Curtains: Jaypro Sports LLC

Elliptical Equipment: Nautilus Inc.

Exercise Balls: Thera-Band Products/Hygenic Corp.

Filters: Neptune-Benson Inc.

Flooring: Dal-Tile Corp.

Flooring, Aerobics: Connor Sports Flooring

Flooring, Fitness Center: Mondo

Folding Chairs: Mity-Lite Inc.

Free Weight Equipment: Iron Grip Barbell Co.

Handicapped Equipment: Spectrum Aquatics

Ladders/Grab Bars: Paragon Aquatics, Div. of Pentair

Lighting: Day-Brite Capri Omega

Lighting: Day-Brite Capri Omega

Lockers: American Accessories Inc.

Rehabilitation/Testing Units: MicroFit Inc.

Sanitization Systems: Arch Chemicals Inc.

Scoreboard/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.

Scoreboards/Timing Systems: Daktronics Inc.

Shower/Toilet Partitions: Global Steel Products

Skylights: Structures Unlimited Inc.

Strength Equipment: Nautilus Inc.

Surfaces, Basketball: Connor Sports Flooring

Surfaces, Track: Mondo

Swimsuit Dryer: Extractor Corp.

Treadmills: Nautilus Inc.

Volleyball Nets and Standards: Jaypro Sports LLC

Wall Padding: Promats Inc.

Water Play Features: Empex Watertoys

Water Play Features: WhiteWater West Industries Ltd.