The Clarence-Rockland Recreation and Cultural Complex was developed by the town, the local Catholic school board and the YMCA in an effort to consolidate infrastructure, intensify land use and offer a diverse and vibrant hub for a burgeoning community.
Located on a steeply sloping site adjacent to the high school, the building asserts a bold presence through a distinctive palette of colored aluminum panels, fritted glass and “iron spot” brick. The building is laid out in an L-shaped plan, establishing a clear separation of active and passive uses. Included within the program are a new branch library, multiuse rooms, a childcare area, a gymnasium, a fitness center and an aquatics center.
At the heart of the facility is an internal top-lit pedestrian “street” that establishes a strong spatial structure within the building. This internal street reinforces a strong link between the adjoining streetscape to the south and the more private zone of playing fields and parkland associated with the school to the north.
The interior design promotes a sense of openness and transparency in an effort to capitalize on striking exterior views and to maximize interaction between programs and users. Crisp modern detailing and bold use of color offer a playful graphic sensibility while enhancing wayfinding within the spaces. Lounge spaces and viewing areas interspersed throughout the building encourage informal interaction and promote a sense of community.