SquashBusters is a sports program that teaches inner-city middle-school kids the game of squash, and gives them the tools to excel academically and build confidence. The new facility sustains year-round programs for 400 middle- and high-school children, including a summer camp, and also functions as an additional athletic center for the university.
After exploring CAPACITY914COST PER SQ FT$273.00FEATURED IN2004 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized building locations, a site was selected on the university’s campus that was sandwiched between a garage and a municipal playing field. The design fit all of the program components into a low, geometric building that enhances and complements the park and garage.
The internal layout incorporates shared and private areas into a relatively small space. The facility’s main organizing element is a triangular atrium that acts as a hinge between the horizontal functions of the interior and its vertical layers. On the ground floor, offices were arranged in an open plan to facilitate communication among staff. The second floor was dedicated to SquashBusters youth program facilities, including eight international competition-grade squash courts, three tutoring classrooms and locker rooms. The third floor accommodates a fitness center for Northeastern University students.
The facility’s primary mass is a curved rectangular form that is cantilevered over the base, expressing a linear organization of the squash courts and the park’s edge. Although the courts line a perimeter wall, they are isolated from natural light.