TREC | Training Recreation Education Center -- Newark, New Jersey

22,000 SF | gymnasium | fitness & yoga | daycare | instructional kitchen | classrooms | community meeting rooms | study commons
In an effort to revitalize the community and empower its citizens, the Newark Housing Authority commissioned our firm to design the Training Recreation Education Center (TREC), a place where children, adults, and seniors can gather, exercise, learn, and receive training in professional skills, in a facility that embodies the spirit of social connectivity. Inspired by its triangular site adjacent to Weequahic Park (Olmsted Brothers, 1901) and straddling a residential neighborhood and industrial zone, our building is expressed as two offset juxtaposed triangular forms—one glassy and transparent the other opaque and white—merged together to form a vibrant mixed-use community center for the residents of South Ward. The 22,000-square-foot building is entered through a plaza on Ludlow Street that leads to the lobby and information desk, with a commons beyond that bisects the two triangular forms and provides group seating. The solid form, clad in aluminum fins, houses the recreational components of the center, including a basketball court, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a fitness room and a yoga studio that overlook a community garden for outdoor athletics. The glazed volume offers a pre-school and daycare center for children, three state-of-the-art classrooms, and two large community meeting spaces, all fronting Ludlow Street, allowing passersby to observe the energy and activity within.