Premium Partners

East Oakland Sports Center

Oakland, Calif.
Construction Cost: $18 million
Area / Square Feet: 25,000
Occupancy Date: July 2011

The East Oakland Sports Center boasts one of the few recreational natatoriums in the country for underserved populations, and it is one of the few that is municipally owned and operated in California. Its extremely economical, sustainable design maximizes operating efficiencies and serves as a model for other underserved communities.

To bring costs down, immediate attention was given to those elements that were most relevant to the community. This first phase includes a natatorium with an indoor leisure pool, a dance/aerobics studio, a fitness center, locker rooms and a lobby. Future phases will see the addition of soccer and baseball fields, as well as a two-court gymnasium with a suspended running track and a competition pool.

The design showcases its programmatic elements with highly transparent volumes, providing glimpses of the activities within to invite people inside. Extensive glazing maximizes daylighting and views; at night, the natatorium glows and serves as a beacon of community pride. The lobby is the building's focal point, with entries on both sides so users can move easily from the facility to Edes Avenue or the sport fields.

Judge's Comments

What I really liked was its dramatic street presence, which was both uplifting and protective — a jewelbox of community pride. — James Braam, 360 Architecture

I was drawn to it because of its location in East Oakland, and the importance of these types of facilities to communities, especially ones that struggle.
— Jim Kalvelage, Opsis Architecture

Excellent manipulation of elements to create the imagery of a glowing beacon, announcing the proposed neighborhood revitalization.
— Amado Fernandez, Hughes Group Architects