Facilities of Merit 2007: Boll Family YMCA


Boll Family YMCA

Detroit, MI 2007
Year in Showcase: 2007

Project Description

Not your average YMCA,? in the words of one judge, the Boll Family YMCA is intended to be a catalyst for the re-energizing of Detroit?s downtown. Utilizing an architectural expression that features a series of ?boxes? stacked upon one another and held together by vertical seamed-metal panels, the building boasts glass curtainwall throughout to allow views of the many activities. The wellness box is stilted on narrow concrete columns above the building?s entrance, while the natatorium is placed a half-level below the entrance and is clad with ground-faced concrete block at street level. The judging panel took note of the interior?s interesting mix of materials ? metal panels, glass, brick and ground-faced concrete block ? which, along with a variety of colors, are used to distinguish various programming spaces. From the lobby, a number of areas on multiple levels can be seen, including the black-box theater behind lighted glass, a climbing wall, the members? lounge, and a caf? and reception desk.

Judge's Comments

The three-story solution is unique for this type of building. Even though site space was at a premium, retaining some open space is a great way to provide a sense of entry and community.
— John Linstaedt

This project does a beautiful job of stacking spaces vertically, thereby relating to the urban context.
— Tom Betti

A compact and urbanely appropriate design solution; it could have been a windowless fortress, but instead advertises to the city the importance of YMCAs.
— Erik Kocher

Project Details

Architect: SmithGroup Inc. - Detroit, Mich.
AQUATIC DESIGN ENGINEER : Water Technology Inc. - Beaver Dam, Wis.
THEATER DESIGN : Fisher Dachs Associates - New York, N.Y.
Funded by: Private donations, grants
Major facility components: Natatorium, field house, climbing wall, black-box theater, racquet courts, wellness center, members
Construction Cost: $24.5 million
Square Feet: 100,000
Occupancy: December 2005

Bleachers/Grandstands: StageRight Corp.

Chemical Control Systems: Chemtrol, Div. of Santa Barbara Control Systems

Cleaners/Vacuums: Aqua Vac Systems Inc.

Cleaners/Vacuums: Recreonics Inc.

Climbing Walls: Entre Prises USA Climbing Walls

Court Panels/Glass: Anderson Courts and Sports Surfaces Inc.

Dehumidifiers: Desert Aire Corp.

Elliptical Equipment: Life Fitness

Exercise Balls: BSN Sports

Filters: Neptune-Benson Inc.

Floor Finishes: Connor Sports Flooring

Flooring: Dal-Tile Corp.

Flooring, Aerobics: Mondo

Handicapped Equipment: Pentair Water Pool and Spa

Heaters: Lochinvar Corp.

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

Lane Markers: Paragon Aquatics, Div. of Pentair

Lockers: Republic Storage Systems Co.

Rowers: Concept2 Inc.

Shower/Toilet Partitions: Metpar Corp.

Stair Climbers: Life Fitness

Stationary Bikes: Life Fitness

Strength Equipment: Life Fitness

Surface: Connor Sports Flooring

Surfaces, Basketball: Connor Sports Flooring

Surfaces, Multipurpose: Mondo

Surfaces, Track: Robbins Sports Surfaces

Swimsuit Dryer: Extractor Corp.

Treadmills: Life Fitness

Water Play Features: Vortex Aquatic Structures Int'l Inc.