Northwest Family YMCA

The concept is activation by insertion of energizing elements. The placement of iconic elements generates new patterns of circulation, re-establishes program adjacencies and combines compatible uses. These feature elements are the oculus and the wood volume.

The oculus was created out of an existing halfmoon clerestory window by pushing out a storefront window. This oculus helps define the lobby area and creates a brighter, more welcoming space. The wood volume acts as both host and connector: it houses several programming elements such as the reception, ramp, coffee bar and break room. By combining these programmatic elements, other spaces are able to be reallocated as open areas. This strategy was particularly effective at the entry where break room, check in, circulation and seating have been artfully integrated into one expression. The orientation of the wood volume complements the oculus, as does the selection of circular light fixtures. The choice of wood also warms up the space and contrasts dynamically with the existing concrete. Graphics are used for feature walls, wayfinding, and as screen elements. The color and triangular pattern of the lobby graphic was designed as an abstraction of light refraction on water at the pool. We used the same pattern of movement for screening the multipurpose room adjacent to the lobby.

Client: YMCA of Austin
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 10,000 square feet remodel area

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