The annual AIA National Design Awards have been announced, with Lubber Run Community Center amongst the recipients. Designed by VMDO, the project preserves open park space through responsive site strategies, embedding much of its program beneath a folding, interactive landscape.
From the AIA National Committee: "In Arlington, Virginia, this new community center replaces an aged facility in Lubber Run Park, a natural resource that is precious to urban Arlington County. Connecting to nature and preserving the open space were the project’s drivers, shaping a 50,000-square-foot facility that offers a wealth of programming for all ages.
The team’s overarching design vision was achieved through a sculptural landscape plinth that is draped over a series of interior spaces, fully integrating the building into the landscape. To that end, all of the center’s parking and some of its interior programming were located underground to broaden the number of outdoor amenities at the ground level. Those include a playground, pickleball and basketball courts, and improvements to circulation that support access to all modes of transportation.
Completed on schedule despite the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lubber Run Community Center solves a uniquely urban problem: preserving access to open space in the wake of unceasing development. Fully integrated into the environment, the project is both a building and a park, a work of architecture truly rooted in its sense of place."
The project team will be honored at a ceremony at the 2023 AIA National Conference in San Francisco in June.