Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

SINGING HILLS RECREATION CENTER

Perkins&Will

ARCHITECTS
Perkins&Will

LOCATION
Dallas, United States

MANUFACTURERS
Carlisle Syntec, Firestone Building Products, Guardian Glass, Timber Systems, Armstrong, Lock-deck, Mosa, Nucor Vulcraft/verco Group, Oldcastle Building Envelope, Robbins Bio-cushion Lp, Texastone Quarries, Zandur

LEAD ARCHITECTS
Ron Stelmarski

MEP ENGINEER
Basharkhah Engineers

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
JQ

CIVIL ENGINEER
Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Kevin Sloan Studio

DESIGNER
Robert Ting

CONTRACTOR
JC Commercial Inc., 3i Contracting, Mart

PROJECT ARCHITECT
Tori Wickard

MANAGING PRINCIPAL
John Strasius

CATAGORY
Healthcare Architecture, Community Center

AREA
2332 m²

YEAR
2020

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

The Singing Hills Recreation Center design began with a modest budget and program located on the fringes of downtown Dallas.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

The site offered a hilltop punctuated by natural limestone outcroppings, densely wooded surroundings, and adjacency to a new public transit line.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

Growing excitement about the project led to a series of community meetings where the participants generated a list of aspirations for the building, asking that it become a beacon, have a clear identity, and prioritize community and the natural landscape.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

To achieve this expression, the designers sited the building as close as possible to the train line, linking the two with direct pathways and a tree-filled plaza.

Through engagement with the public and the interpretation of their goals, the design team conceived of the building as a piece of site infrastructure, uniting vehicular, train, bike, and environmental networks to form a layered space of social exchange and well-being.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

A key design strategy involved burrowing the gymnasium into the hillside to follow the site topography and reduce the volumetric bulk of the space, thereby maintaining a human scale and introducing surprise overlooks into the gym activities.

The building design engages and reinterprets the surrounding natural environment. The existing tree canopy is abstracted as an undulating overhead plane, framing views, revealing the activities inside, and allowing the natural terrain to visually flow through the building.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

Strategies of filtering, layering, and screening informed the interior expression and provide a restorative setting that blends with the natural ecosystem.

Exclusively use of native Texan plants, and a carpet of wildflowers reestablishes the natural flora of the site’s pre-development condition.

This new public amenity is given a clear identity as a place for the community to gather and encourage healthy behaviors.

Benefitting a historically underserved neighborhood, the design delivers a human-scaled experience with an elevated level of civic presence.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography
Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography

This is achieved through a clear concept that is articulated through a simple material palette and refined details.The Singing Hills Recreation is a place for social interaction, designed to encourage the most amount of activity overlap.

Direct access to downtown Dallas via light rail offers expanded economic opportunities and allows the center to serve as a symbol of and gateway to a more equitable future for the area.

Singing Hills Recreation Center
© James Steinkamp Photography


Singing Hills Recreation Center
Site Plan
Singing Hills Recreation Center
Section


Singing Hills Recreation Center
Concept

Perkins&will
T +1 312 755 0770
Perkins&will
410 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA