The new 95,000 square foot LEED Silver certified building and outdoor recreation facility is situated on 16-acres within a Chicago north shore residential neighborhood. The City of Evanston retained Woodhouse Tinnuci Architects to design a state-of-the-art community center, with ECT providing landscape architecture and innovative stormwater design strategies. The cherished new community hub is a modern high-tech facility that includes two full sized ice rinks, a branch of the Evanston Public Library, indoor athletic spaces, a running track. and a preschool with an after-school education facility.
The outdoor areas designed by ECT include flexible open spaces for gatherings, three artificial turf sport fields, a pop-up event plaza, and circuit walking and biking trails. The outdoor reading room conveniently connected to the library provides direct garden access for library patrons and the preschool. The popular playground was designed to replicate the rolling landform theme.
The creative approach to the site design allowed the facility to maximize development opportunities and achieve all the community’s needs. Over 70 percent of the site’s stormwater storage is collected under the sport fields in the gravel subbase. Distinct heritage trees were protected through a combination of fine spot grading and establishment of a finish floor elevation that minimized soil removal.