El Dorado YMCA
As the Wichita YMCA searched for opportunities to branch beyond the metro area into suburban districts, an El Dorado Health club wished to replace antiquated facilities for their community of 18,000 persons. This led to a natural partnership which produced a 43,000 square foot facility located in downtown El Dorado, KS.
There were many challenges that the program and site restrictions presented. The program needs and the desire to include many of the same open-environment amenities of the South Branch, but consolidated into a facility two-thirds the size, challenged the plan organization of the spaces. Further challenging the geometry of the building footprint was the desire to leave the existing health club facility in operation throughout the construction of the new facility. The existing health club was located in the very center of the site, which drastically restricted the optimal dimensional footprint. Views from Main Street to the historic train depot located nearby were to be preserved and the architectural character needed to respect the architecture of the downtown district.
The resulting design solution is a two-story brick structure, strategically penetrated with glazed openings, pulled slightly away from the Main Street frontage and skewed on two sides, promoting views to the train depot. The interior activities are arranged to provide open display of activities throughout the facility, producing an atmosphere of awareness and excitement.