Upper Gwynedd Community Center
Upper Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania
Following a needs assessment study to understand community preferences, BKP developed a conceptual design for a new Upper Gwynedd Community Center to be located within the township’s municipal complex. The semi-wooded setting offered an opportunity to create a campus, with program areas extending from the building interior to a series of stepped terraces that can be used for parties or events. A thoughtful landscape plan offers a constant connection between nature and the indoors.
BKP partnered with Viridian Landscape Studio and Meliora Environmental Design to develop a site plan that reinforces Upper Gwynedd’s commitment to preserving and enhancing open space. Indigenous, low-maintenance plants and stormwater management contribute to the sustainable design. Terraces are based on a 20-foot-by-20-foot module easily rented or tented for events. New parking around the perimeter frames a central recreation zone. Natural landscape features, stone walls, and Cor-Ten post fencing integrate with the site design to subtly guide and protect pedestrians, especially children.
The two-story community center features architecture inspired by the multi-generational recreation activities that take place inside and around the building. The exterior’s merger of metal panels and brick cladding creates a modern presence, while eight-foot-high letters not only brand the building along Sumneytown Pike but also offer a nontraditional children’s play space. A combination of opaque and clear glass reveals glimpses of the activity inside. Classrooms, three event rooms that can be opened to form one large space, and a warming kitchen enable the facility to host events of all sizes. A multipurpose volleyball-basketball court and a turf field for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey are overlooked by a walking track from which most of the facility is visible. A large fitness room cantilevers over the main entrance, forming the entry porch. Offices, meeting rooms, restrooms, and lounge space is tucked into the efficient plan.
35,000 square feet
2017 (concept design)