The program for a recreation center at the Arverne/Edgemere Houses on the Rockaway peninsula includes an Olympic size swimming and diving pool, a training pool and a full gymnasium with viewing bleachers.
Water, pervading both the site and the use of the building, was the inspiration for a structure with wave-like sculptural roof segments supported on spare steel three-point truss arches. With transparent, tautly detailed curtain walls forming its exterior walls, the sculptural roof would appear to float, expressing the natatory activities within and responding to the surrounding seascape.
Each section of the roof is described by curves which rise and descend to provide the interior heights needed for the various activities and for comfortable sight lines from the bleachers. Clerestory glazing introduces natural light into the structure.
With the dynamic crescendos and diminuendos of its wave roof, the building projects a reflection of nature’s rhythms and movement and expresses the controlled power and grace of great athletes.