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A Community Design Process
Kappe Architects

This project was a collaboration between Kappe Architects and Dev Architects.

Built in 1949, the Joseph Lee Recreation Center* has well served the community for fifty years and is still in continuous use. On two levels, the complex consists of a gymnasium, an auditorium and smaller activity spaces, with a playground originally located behind the building. The Center is a venue for senior's activities as well as adult and youth programs. Because it has deep roots and serves a critical role in the neighborhood, it was vital that we hear and honor the community's input in the design process.

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Key Project Considerations
Kappe Architects
+ A detailed condition survey of the existing building determined that it did not meet seismic and disabled access codes
+ From the beginning, the design team worked with a Task Force that encompassed all stakeholders and we held two community meetings organized with extensive outreach and high attendance
Kappe Architects
+ Both the Task Force and the community selected the scheme that saved the existing gymnasium and demolished the rest of the facility, including the playground in the rear
Successes Achieved Through Design
+ Saved the Gym: The existing gymnasium was remodeled, brought up to code requirements, was modernized with new finishes, more natural light, new electrical systems, lighting systems, new heating and ventilation
Kappe Architects
+ Mural Preservation: The design team, the artist and the Arts Commission worked out a strategy to recreate the murals on a new mural wall that currently forms a backdrop for the playground
+ Better Playground: The playground is now on the south side of the site where it receives good sunlight, is visible to the community, and easy to supervise from the front desk and lobby
Kappe Architects
+ The new buildings help address space shortages and increase efficiencies

* Project Design by Kappe+Du Architects, with Jiane Du