Tom Muehlenbeck Center

Plano, TX
Construction Cost: $21 million
Area / Square Feet: 82,240 (indoors)
Occupancy Date: November 2007

Located in the center of a community park and surrounded by three schools, the site for the Tom Muehlenbeck Center is split diagonally by a vegetated wetland creek. Visitors park on one side of the wetland creek and cross strategically placed pedestrian bridges that direct people to various key building elements. The bridges also link bike paths and jogging trails.

The exterior of the building echoes the creek, with the cast-stone base, smooth slat-like horizontal stone elements and metal-finished roof line emphasizing the fl owing nature of the site. Large windows also offer views to the creek and other outdoor recreation elements, once again forging a strong relationship between the building and its surroundings.

Among the facility’s many sustainable-design elements are the use of local, durable and recycled materials, as well as a light-colored roof and high-performance glazing.

The design of various recreation and social spaces, as well as arts/ crafts and preschool areas, is the result of input from the community and local schools. All of those spaces revolve around a main lobby and control desk, encouraging a dynamic and fl owing atmosphere.