McKinney York Architects


Montopolis Recreation Center

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Currently under construction, the new Montopolis Recreation and Community Center is a two-part project in east Austin consisting of construction of a new building; and demolition of the existing recreation center, Health and Human Services building and associated parking area. Upon completion, the Center will be a joint use facility between City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and Health and Human Services Department (HHSD).

The site plan makes great effort to preserve the existing trees with particular emphasis on the protected trees and heritage trees surrounding the new building. To achieve this, the building is set back farther from the street than would be typical, staying out of the trees’ critical root zones. An added benefit is the creation of a shaded public plaza which will provide a venue for community events.

The scale of the new building has been designed to complement and not overwhelm the neighborhood context. The community was surveyed early in the design process to identify words that they would like to see the facility embody. Through its materiality and reserved integration into the site, the design displays the relaxed, unpretentious attitude the community seeks while special elements like the gym, the multipurpose rooms and the boxing center display a more adventurous and energetic form.