"Come Together - Celebrating a New Place to Gather" is the headline in Harris County Chamber of Commerce's recent publication featuring the new Harris County Community Center designed by 2WR + Partners. The design for this community center included the development of a master plan for the entire 24-acre site that will serve as a public resource hub for the area. The master plan includes a future new central library, tennis courts, athletic fields, learning gardens, and walking trails. A key concern shared by the owner and the architect was that the building facilitate a communal experience.
John Magazu, Director of Harris County Recreation Department, says, "The new facility has been a great asset for the county. People constantly rave about the building. Since opening, we have had a steady stream of new members - in 18 months we have gone from 0 to 5,000 members!"
The 42,000 square-foot community center provides a competition pool and children’s water play elements. Two indoor basketball/volleyball courts serve a dual role as a large public event space. Classrooms and meeting rooms also provide a much-needed formal assembly space for community events. The design takes into consideration Harris County's unique natural beauty and agrarian culture.
Columbus and Muscogee County residents are also enjoying their new indoor aquatic center located in the heart of Midtown on Macon Road. 2WR designed the 57,000-square foot Natatorium to be the first LEED Certified stand-alone aquatic center in Georgia. It includes a 50-meter Olympic competition pool with an integrated diving section and a 25-yard therapy pool, with locker facilities for 300 and stepped seating and concession area for 900 spectators.
2WR also designed the outdoor spaces between the Natatorium and new City Services Center, deemed the ‘community quilt’ in effort to reflect Columbus’ diverse community coming together to gather in a common place.
When not hosting competitive swim meets starring their home team the Columbus Hurricanes, or water aerobics classes, the facility is full of energy from families enjoying the warm water and celebrating birthdays in the adjacent event space.
In reference to the Aquatic Center as well as Rails to Trails and other municipal projects, Columbus Mayor Teresa Pike Tomlinson had this to say: "We rely on 2WR to provide us with world-class design and functionality for real world costs. Through our partnership, we have been able to build public facilities that reflect the our city's progress and sophistication level."