A successful community center in San Luis Obispo should be able to integrate all members of the community and take advantage of its unique composition of families, retirees, and college students. Cultivating the arts is also important in any community wishing to provide opportunities for growth and outlets for creativity. Educating children about the arts is important because they learn refine their artistic techniques and make their creative expression more coherent.
College students benefit from the arts as a creative outlet, while older adults maintain a healthy mind through engaging in artistic activities. Providing a central space for creative production would increase interaction between the isolated generations in the San Luis Obispo community. A craft center promotes artistry and imagination and provides hands-on activities that produce tangible results.
The Santa Rosa Park community center houses craft and art workshops, galleries, classrooms, and other large multiuse spaces. The simplicity and sharpness in the design act as a blank slate, representing the potential for creativity. Wooden screens provide shade and vertical repetition to the façade, while large concrete planes cut through the repetition. Large panes of glass allow for select views into and out of the structure, taking advantage of the park’s great views of San Luis Mountain and Bishop’s Peak. Trees and shrubs surrounding the building soften the hard edges and bring even more life to the park.
The design consists of a separation of programs joined by a shared space in which the program is much more flexible and dependent on the users. The simple layout allows for flexibility and ease of circulation. Adaptability is key in a building whose use will undoubtedly change throughout the course of a day, a year, a decade, etc. The large multipurpose room has large rotating glass doors, opening to a great view of San Luis Mountain and expanding into the grassy hill of the park when desired. Flexibility also applies to the classrooms, which can open to each other, the playground, and the partially enclosed courtyard to create outdoor workshop spaces.
The shared two-story space provides an atrium with an information desk, gallery space, seating, and circulation, while the second floor houses a café, outdoor seating with views, and office spaces that are screened from most users’ perspectives. Because much of the first floor space is not designated to a certain program, the adaptable area becomes subject to constant changes in the spaces surrounding it.