Architect / Firm: RossDrulisCusenbery Archiecture, Inc.
The new Ashland Youth Center houses a rich array of youth-centered services within a singular and iconic building identity. The 31,500 square foot sustainably designed two story structure includes: a library; a public cafe; media production, dance and fitness rooms; class rooms; a computer lab; a visual arts room; a childcare center; a health clinic; a career center; a courtyard; and, building support and administrative spaces. The building design emphasizes transparency, openness and flexibility between the different functions to promote exploration, social connectivity and programming flexibility.
The Youth Center site is located on East 14th Street, in unincorporated Alameda County. The site is on a commercial arterial, adjacent to a middle school, near to single- and multi-family residences, and directly within the new Holland Park recreational open space. The youth center bridges between the two primary qualities of the immediate context--commercial highway and neighborhood park--addressing both in equal measure. The massing and orientation of the building volume is based on the pattern of commercial buildings in the area, with the spatial experience of the building more attuned to the openness and flow of the adjacent park environment.