Conceived to inspire and maximize human potential, The St. James is a complete sports, wellness, lifestyle and active entertainment destination. The client challenged the design team to develop this flagship facility to be “the center of the universe,” focused on bringing high-performance training and wellness to the community of Washington, D.C. This included a broad variety of sports, wellness, nutrition, play and retail programs.
Market factors drove the selection of 14 different sports. Healing opportunities included a spa and sports medicine. A full-service restaurant provides nutritious meals for fueling and recovering from workouts. A family focused active entertainment center provides opportunities for parties, zip lines, ninja warrior activity, and an e-sports studio, and a child watch area allows parents to roam freely or work out while their younger children are cared for.
To address this programmatic challenge, the design team and client identified several key drivers at the onset of the project: aggregation of multi-use spaces; clarity of organization; visual interconnectivity to as many athletic spaces as possible; natural light to encourage performance; high-quality finishes and appearance that were simple, sophisticated and timeless; and control the cost to stay in budget.
The St. James accommodates all skill levels, from DC United practice sessions to youth league hockey and high school football games to amateur athletic tournaments. It can even host presidential candidate rallies. The building’s design allows for this unique aggregation of spaces, under one roof, organized in a clear, concise and sophisticated way that inspires its visitors from the moment they walk through the front door.