Princeton, N.J.-Based Firm Designs Training, Recreation and Education Center for Newark Housing Authority
AIA-NJ has recognized Princeton, N.J.-based design firm ikon.5 Architects, with a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category for the design of a new Training, Recreation and Education Center in Newark, NJ.
As conceived by ikon.5, the community center will be housed in one building composed of two interlocking triangular wedges. One wedge is transparent, and is designed to contain meeting and educational facilities, while the adjacent building, with its opaque walls, will be used for recreational activities. The unique creation was inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark.
“The design’s two triangles represent an important and iconic trait of this city,” said Joseph G. Tattoni, FAIA, principal of ikon.5 Architects. “The final product will demonstrate the complementary nature of the two components, which will combine to create a multi-use community facility that will benefit the entire neighborhood.”
The 22,000-square-foot building will feature a gymnasium, fitness and aerobic room, community meeting rooms, locker room and showers, childcare center, and a library and study area. The center is a welcomed addition to the surrounding community and is expected to rejuvenate the residential community.
“ikon.5 Architects has created something special and demonstrated how creative architecture can contribute to the reinvigoration of a neighborhood,” said Kimberly Bunn, president of AIA-NJ. “Despite the project’s tight budget constraints, ikon.5 utilized efficient design techniques to create a low-cost building that is visually dynamic and will meet the community’s need.”
The project was commissioned by the Newark Housing Authority and will serve the residential Dayton Neighborhood in the South Ward of Newark. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority both contributed funding.