Northwest Branch YMCA
A low lying, flood afflicted parcel of land on the perimeter of Wichita’s urban area was selected as the site on which to develop a new YMCA facility. Its purpose is to serve families in the northwestern sector of the community by the promotion of fitness and healthy lifestyles. Transparency encompasses the design of the facility, immediately revealing a diverse range of available social and physical activities and encouraging interaction among guests.
Lofty volumes enclosing gymnasiums, gymnastics, and aquatic activities are aligned along one side of a linear promenade that extends the length of the facility. Stretching the length of the other side are two levels of individual and small group activities, including cardio exercise, strength training, aerobics, rock climbing pinnacle and bouldering rock, yoga and Pilates. Every space of the facility is afforded natural light and extended views to the outdoors. The transparency of the southern exposure provides brilliant daylight to visitors and passers-by during the use-intensive early sunrise and evening twilight hours. The architecture responds responsibly to the southern solar exposure by the incorporation of intricately detailed shading devices.