The Brooks Family YMCA, as one of several McIntire Park stewards, will become a lively contribution to the park that supports park programs and provides new recreational and community opportunities. The YMCA will be founded in McIntire Park upon the mission embodied by its name: FAMILY – an organization dedicated to strengthening bonds within families, between families, and within the community; YMCA – a means of fostering healthy minds, bodies, and spirits through the teaching of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The Brooks Family YMCA aims to serve broad community needs of different age groups and different interest groups, encouraging a vibrant and dynamic mixing of cultures within McIntire Park and the City of Charlottesville.

The Brooks Family YMCA facility generally consists of a family aquatics center (including a 10 lane fitness / competition pool and observation area, a family recreation pool with waterslides and play features, a spa, and a dry sauna), a double gymnasium with multipurpose stage and elevated running track, a fitness room (including cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and circuit training equipment), a community / multipurpose room, child watch, locker rooms, and various other spaces. The design for the YMCA merges program and architecture to suggest an authentic, sustainable, and attractive addition to McIntire Park.

The Brooks Family YMCA, as one of several McIntire Park stewards, will become a lively contribution to the park that supports park programs and provides new recreational and community opportunities. The YMCA will be founded in McIntire Park upon the mission embodied by its name: FAMILY – an organization dedicated to strengthening bonds within families, between families, and within the community; YMCA – a means of fostering healthy minds, bodies, and spirits through the teaching of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The Brooks Family YMCA aims to serve broad community needs of different age groups and different interest groups, encouraging a vibrant and dynamic mixing of cultures within McIntire Park and the City of Charlottesville.

The Brooks Family YMCA facility generally consists of a family aquatics center (including a 10 lane fitness / competition pool and observation area, a family recreation pool with waterslides and play features, a spa, and a dry sauna), a double gymnasium with multipurpose stage and elevated running track, a fitness room (including cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and circuit training equipment), a community / multipurpose room, child watch, locker rooms, and various other spaces. The design for the YMCA merges program and architecture to suggest an authentic, sustainable, and attractive addition to McIntire Park.

10 lane fitness competition pool and observation area

The facility is partially engaged into the hillside in order to appropriately scale to its surroundings and to preserve level park areas for recreational use. Saving mature trees helps the building seem comfortable in its place. Generous windows provide transparent opportunities for interaction, showcase programs inside the facility, and provide dramatic views to the park beyond. The landscape of the park entrance plaza continues into the building, where a public porch and lobby welcome members into the facility. Entering on the upper level, members can look down into the double-height aquatics center and gymnasium, and through the facility to the woods beyond. Circulation within the facility is organized to provide natural overlaps where members may share experiences, make new friends, and develop a sense of belonging. Four building-height signage panels that represent the core YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility center the facility. Visually, physically, and symbolically, these panels merge the building’s architecture with its mission and demonstrate the YMCA’s commitment to its members. As a park living room and recreation center, the YMCA will become a visual, physical, and programmatic asset to Charlottesville and McIntire Park that builds strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.

The facility is partially engaged into the hillside in order to appropriately scale to its surroundings and to preserve level park areas for recreational use. Saving mature trees helps the building seem comfortable in its place. Generous windows provide transparent opportunities for interaction, showcase programs inside the facility, and provide dramatic views to the park beyond. The landscape of the park entrance plaza continues into the building, where a public porch and lobby welcome members into the facility. Entering on the upper level, members can look down into the double-height aquatics center and gymnasium, and through the facility to the woods beyond. Circulation within the facility is organized to provide natural overlaps where members may share experiences, make new friends, and develop a sense of belonging. Four building-height signage panels that represent the core YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility center the facility. Visually, physically, and symbolically, these panels merge the building’s architecture with its mission and demonstrate the YMCA’s commitment to its members. As a park living room and recreation center, the YMCA will become a visual, physical, and programmatic asset to Charlottesville and McIntire Park that builds strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.

fitness room (including cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and circuit training equipment)
double gymnasium with multipurpose stage and elevated running track

Client: Piedmont Family YMCA

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Discipline: Community Spaces

Completion: 2017

Size: 75,000 SF