While L.A. firm Brooks + Scarpa has become renowned for its growing portfolio of affordable housing, the firm’s extensive oeuvre demonstrates its range, from cultural projects to parks and recreation spaces. The new Youth Sports Complex completed this year in Florida’s Pompano Beach embodies the firm’s community-focused design approach. On a four-hectare site along Northeast 10th Street, a building dubbed the Field House anchors a new park facility complete with soccer, football and lacrosse fields that are intended to accommodate large-scale sporting events with crowds of up to 1,000 people.
The city of Pompano Beach tapped Brooks + Scarpa to design the 380-square-metre structure, which serves as a key landmark at the centre of the park, hosting concessions, offices, storage and restroom facilities. In selecting the material and colour palette, the firm sought to keep costs down with durable materials that would complement the nearby Centennial Park Pavilion (also designed by Brooks + Scarpa).
Both projects boast a porous quality that welcomes the public inside. Yet while the Centennial Park Pavilion is characterized by the use of metal and wood, the Field House, features a board-formed concrete shell that feels surprisingly lightweight. This dynamic concrete façade is carved away, its archways revealing a playful pop of vibrant yellow colour that defines the wrap-around porch. That same colour is used in the metal lattice structure that clads the north elevation, which also integrates a large sign visible from 10th Street. The building’s varied facades mean it appears different from every angle, offering a simple form of wayfinding within the park.
The Field House’s indoor-outdoor patio acts as a kind of “living room” for the city, creating a shaded place for play, social interaction and seating for resting athletes or spectators. While high-velocity fans provide much-needed cooling stations that offer respite from the Florida heat, the building’s folded roof also harnesses breezes from the East for natural ventilation in both the porch and interior spaces. The sloped roof was also designed to highlight rainfall as it pours down from the scupper into the adjacent rain garden, where the water is infiltrated back into the aquifer.
These cut-outs in the façade allow for clear views of the fields from the concession area and offices, making for a functional and attractive event space. The architects gave as much thought to the building as they did the landscape that surrounds it: the firm’s low-impact approach reduces the need for irrigation to create a resilient and sustainable design.
While the Youth Sports Complex represents an already substantial $1.1 million dollar investment in public sports infrastructure, it has been designed for future expansion, with multi-purpose spaces that will build out the porch area. “This will be a tremendous boost for our youth programs,” says Pompano Beach Recreation program director Mark Beaudreau. “We are thrilled to see this and other projects underway.”
Designed by Brooks + Scarpa, a sculptural concrete structure welcomes the community in with a wrap-around covered porch.