Blue Hill Youth Development Center

Blue Hill Youth Development Center

Leers Weinzapfel Associates in association with Chisholm Washington Architects, 1995

Harleston Parker Medal, 1996

An abandoned ice hockey rink was transformed by a series of thoughtful additions and insertions to become a lively recreation center.

Two-thirds of the rink’s original open frame structure was retained, and then enclosed with new walls and oversized windows. Game rooms, a teen lounge, library, art room, and a teaching kitchen occupy a miniature interior village of primary colored volumes under the old bowstring trusses. The new gymnasium, clad in ground-face concrete block, sits on the remainder of the old foundation. A band of clerestory windows allows the flat roof to float above the solid box below, and brings light down into the play space.

The main public entrance is marked by a colorful steel canopy that wraps a slender steel column - and then reaches out to the adjacent parking. Its finely scaled details and compelling composition knit the boxy volumes and site together.