Julia Carson Community Center

- Finalist, 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition -

Through the Gresham Smith Competition, the Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture, with support from the College of Architecture and Planning, Indianapolis Center (CAP: IC) has offered to assist the Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation in consolidating the objectives of its mission and facilitate community participatory engagement through a programmatic and conceptual design process. The proposed JCCC is a community partnership with three main components including the above mentioned Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation and their community service partners; community center social and cultural networking; and community center recreational programs. Each of these is an extension of a larger network of partners serving the community.

The proposed Julia Carson Community Center (JCCC) is proposed to be located in the Mapleton - Fall Creek Neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Her Life. Her Love. Her Legacy.

The 57,000 GSF multipurpose facility was to be be designed, constructed, and the serve the community in honor of the late U.S. Representative, Julia Carson. The JCCC’s mission represents the best of Congresswoman Carson’s national and global vision of a just and inclusive society, commitment to community, and love of family. The primary purpose of the Center is to provide compassionate support for the success of families, youth and seniors. It will be visible catalyst for community health and well-being providing social networking, family services, and recreational programs.

In general, the site is located in the midst of the most distressed portion of the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. Thus, “Urban Prairie” conditions are present to the west, east, and north of the site. Much of the community could be classified as “Fourth World” based on the criteria outlined above. It will be visible catalyst for community health and well being providing social networking, family services, and recreational programs.

The JCCC is a principal recreational center for the surrounding community. This includes recreation and wellness programs including dietary health, pre- and postnatal health, exercise facilities, and sports programs. The community identified the need for having a place for senior, family and youth programs and networking. An integral part of the JCCC mission is to provide that “central place” for the community for meetings, after school programs for youth, and activities for seniors.

Concept

.Julia Carson was able to bring a diverse community of constituents together such that the whole became more than the sum of the parts. This spirit of connecting community that she embodied became metaphorically represented in the ordering systems used in this design 

Julia Carson’s home was the Fall Creek area, her mission of service was for the broader urban area of Indianapolis and ultimately the nation. She excelled at bridging the gap to bring people together. This concept of community formed from diversity is memorialized at a sitewide level as well as in the individual floor plans and different memorial efforts designed throughout the site.

 

Parti Diagram

The “core datum” creates a spine of a foundation program; structuring both buildings along a grid that is responsive to the site and indicative of where specialty the Julia Carson Community Center program "breaks free" - (embodying her spirit and delight in the diversity of community).

Contextually responsive. Break from the Grid. Facilitate Community.

 

Program Response

The JCCC proposal is a two building solution consisting three primary areas:

 1. Administrative and community and supportive services spaces for the Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation including health care, job training and placement and counseling, and various community spaces/uses described herein.

2. Interim and/or Transitional Housing facilities.

3. Recreation and wellness programs including dietary health, exercise facilities, and sports programs. A central place for family and youth programs and networking, community meetings, after school programs for youth, and activities for seniors.

The two buildings create exterior conditions of courtyards, public space, parks and a meaningful "landmark" easily identified along the major 5-lane highway to south of the site. (Click on Pictures Below):

Systems Approach

The JCCC utilizes a double skin façade which reduces heat gain from southern elevations as well as creates good indoor air quality through ventilation. The building also earns LEED credits through the development density and community connectivity, promoting alternate transportation, using recycled content, regional materials and low emitting materials as well as providing excellent passive day lighting and optimal energy performance

The Gresham Smith Competition is an annual program sponsored by Gresham Smith and Partners, a Nashville-based multi-disciplinary firm with offices throughout the Southeastern United States. The primary objectives of this competition are to provide a comprehensive studio project that will provide a learning experience and demonstrate your ability in conceptualization, design, development, and communication.

DetailWallSection.jpg

This project was selected as a finalist in this competition, and displayed at several public galleries.

Project Partner:

Steve Letnz