East Oakland Sports Center 3D Design Project: Rebuilding Inner City
The East Oakland Sports Center, designed by California-based practice ELS Architects is a fine example of 3D-designed contemporary architecture, as well as an effort to rejuvenate a troubled inner city area. In a joint venture with the City of Oakland, ELS designed this new, 50,000 square foot structure, located in the neighborhood of Brookfield. It’s mainly made of glass, for the best use possible of natural lighting – if you step in, with the declared aim to whip your body into shape, you want the health benefits of plenty of sunlight. The structure’s main volumes are occupied by its sports facilities, but it also doesn’t lack community areas and recreational spaces. Perhaps the centerpiece of the building is its natatorium, with a yellow spiraling slide, which is great fun, and a 25-yard by 25-meter pool, idea for competition training. Other sports facilities include the suspending running track in the two-court gymnasium and the dance, aerobics and fitness center. Community activities can be held in the learning/media center and in the space for community gatherings.
Design-wise, the East Oakland sports center is a simple structure with a cantilevering volume upstairs and plenty of windows, which makes heavy use of mesh surfaces. The banister on the interior staircase is mesh, while the exterior features six orange mesh panels, one and a half stories tall, fully operable and put in for the filtering and control of natural lighting. The ELS initiative is sure to alter the face and habits of the East Oakland community, bringing its residents opportunities for relaxation, leisure and coming together.