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ELS Architects and Urban Design,Bay area swimming pool, green public facility design,Solar thermal heated pool, Urban recration center green design, eco center, Oakland sports center,LEED Silver, LEED recreation center,

The Sports Center, which opened in July in Oakland’s Ira Jinkins Park, is in the heart of one of the Bay Area’s hardest hit neighborhoods. Cut off both physically and economically from the thriving region, the new center is an important resource for local families.

The complex is the first phase of an ambitious recreation center that will become a regional magnet. The standout feature is the recreational pool tucked inside a glass building that overlooks the park and main street. The design istransparent in order to connect with the community, and provides an added level of security to the grounds. All publicly funded projects in Oakland are mandated to be a minimal LEED Silver rating — they are one of the first cities in the nation to require this.

While the pool issolar thermal heated, and the expansive glass works well in the mild climate, other interior spaces are carefully shaded to reduce cooling loads. Stormwater is cleaned and absorbed bybioswells that also add much needed greenscape. Future plans are to replace the existing, defunct rec center and to add a competition pool, indoor basketball courts with a suspended running track, and soccer and baseball fields.

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Photos © David Wakely